Illinois COVID: IL reports 20,866 new cases, 30 deaths

ByCraig Wall and ABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Monday, January 3, 2022
Record COVID hospitalizations in Illinois
As COVID cases continue to surge in Illinois, there are a record number of hospitalizations in our state.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Illinois public health officials reported 20,866 new COVID-19 cases and 30 related deaths Monday as Gov. JB Pritzker gave an update on the state's response.

On Friday, a record-high 31,461 new cases were reported. An additional 22,298 cases were reported on Saturday and 14,570 new cases were reported on Sunday.

Doctor Frank Belmonte, chief medical officer and chairman of pediatrics at Advocate Children's Hospital, answers COVID-19 questions.

There have been 2,238,743 total COVID cases, including 27,998 deaths in the state since the pandemic began.

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The seven-day statewide test positivity rate is 17.5%.

Within the past 24 hours, laboratories have reported testing 118,837 new specimens for a total of 45,179,593 since the pandemic began.

WATCH: Gov. JB Pritzker addresses surging COVID cases, hospitalizations

Gov. JB Pritzker gave an update on the omicron COVID surge Monday.

As of Sunday night, 6,294 patients in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19. Of those, 1,086 patients were in the ICU and 652 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators.

The surge in cases, and particularly the record number of people hospitalized with COVID prompted Gov. Pritzker and hospital officials to renew their calls for people to get vaccinated and tested if they have symptoms, as they wait to see what the fallout from the holidays will be.

Advocate Aurora Health, which operates hospitals in Illinois and Wisconsin, reported 1,491 patients system wide; a pandemic record.

"That has doubled from 30 days ago and quadrupled from 60 days ago," said Mary Beth Kingston, chief nursing officer at Advocate Aurora Health.

Gov. Pritzker noted hospitalizations are higher now than last winter, before vaccines were available.

"With the holidays still only a week or two in the rearview mirror, I fear the climb will continue as the virus incubates in those who were exposed at the end of December," he said.

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Many hospitals are now either delaying or postponing non-essential elective surgeries to preserve hospital beds for COVID patients who may need them, and staffing shortages that existed before the pandemic are further exacerbated.

"One of the painful realities of the pandemic we've had the highest number of retirements and people leave their field, in health care. We've had a high amount of burnout," said Omar Lateef, CEO, Rush University Medical Center.

IDPH director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said on average, 550 people are being admitted to Illinois hospitals with COVID every day.

"Although initial information indicates Omicron may not cause as severe illness as Delta, we are not, we are not seeing fewer people in the hospital because there are just so many more people with COVID, period," she said.

A total of 19,313,238 vaccine doses have been administered in Illinois as of Sunday, and 60.63% of the state's population is fully vaccinated. The seven-day rolling average of vaccines administered daily is 46,775.

Pritzker said hospitalizations are higher now than they have been at any point in the pandemic, and the majority of those seriously ill are unvaccinated. But he did not announce any new mitigations and said hospitals will be allowed to make their own determinations about delaying elective surgeries as they see fit.

He reiterated the importance of vaccines and testing to help slow the rapid spread of the omicron variant.