Illinois COVID Update: IL reports 2,989 cases, 15 deaths; mitigations could return, Pritzker says

6 Illinois regions, 3 in Chicago area, under threshold for available ICU beds

ByABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Wednesday, August 25, 2021
Illinois hospital, ICU capacity drops as COVID cases rise
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Hospitals in the Chicago area are under the 20% ICU bed availability threshold as COVID cases rise, while in southern Illinois only 1 bed isa vailable for 20 counties.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- More mitigations could return as the Illinois Department of Public Health officials reported 2,989 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 and 15 related deaths Tuesday.

There have been 1,494,571 total COVID cases, including 23,776 deaths in the state since the pandemic began.

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The preliminary seven-day statewide test positivity from Aug. 16-23 is at 5.8%.

As of Monday night, 2,161 patients in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19. Of those, 525 patients were in the ICU and 248 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators.

According to IDPH data, ICU bed capacity in several regions is below the 20% threshold. A total of six regions have dropped below the requirement, including three in the Chicago area. In Region 11, which is Chicago, it's at 18% while in Region 10 suburban Cook County it's at 16% and in Region 9 Lake County just 13%. Those levels have not really been seen since the fall and winter surge in 2020.

And it's even worse in southern Illinois, where there's just one ICU bed currently available for a 20-county region.

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"If we are not able to bring these numbers down, if hospitals continue to fill, if the hospital beds and ICUs get full like they are in Kentucky - that's just next door to Illinois - if that happens, we're going to have to impose significantly greater mitigations," Gov. JB Pritzker said.

Hospital capacity is falling despite several steps already taken to try to reduce the spread of COVID-19, especially the Delta variant, including mandating masks in all Illinois schools and requiring nursing home staff to be vaccinated.

But more mitigations are being considered.

"Those are things we don't want to go back to," said Pritzker. "Those are phases, situations, things on the menu that I think we don't want to go to. But right now, I think we want everybody to wear a mask indoors."

Pritzker was asked if he is considering a vaccinate mandate for state workers similar to what the City of Chicago is pursuing, but he did not say specifically if that could be coming.

Within the past 24 hours, laboratories have reported testing 47,434 specimens for a total of 28,314,824 since the pandemic began.

A total of 13,833,251 vaccines have been administered in Illinois as of Monday. The seven-day rolling average of vaccines administered daily is 23,821. On Monday, 19,934 vaccines were administered.