Illinois hit a new low in the number of COVID-19 deaths recorded in a month. State Health Officials report 41 people died from the virus in July, the lowest since the pandemic started. The number of people hospitalized is also lower.

The Centers for Disease Control say hospitals in Illinois treat an average of 128 COVID-19 patients a day. The federal government ended its emergency declaration in May, but medical experts say that doesn’t mean the threat is gone. The FDA is working with the vaccine suppliers to update boosters for the fall.

A new COVID-19 variant emerged in recent weeks. Scientists call it Eris, a descendant of omicron.
The World Health Organization started monitoring it closely, and it turned up in Great Britain, now accounting for one in seven COVID cases there. That makes Eris the second most prevalent variant in that country.

The World Health Organization urges countries not to let their guard down despite better protection from vaccines and prior infections.