Hospitals record largest daily COVID-19 patient spike since May 20
Hospitals across Illinois reported 153 more COVID-19 patients Monday than the day before, the largest single-day spike in coronavirus admissions since May 20, according to Illinois Department of Public Health records.
Statewide, 1,584 people were being treated in hospitals for COVID-19 infections Monday, IDPH officials reported. Of those hospitalized with the respiratory disease, 373 are being treated in intensive care. ICU patients with COVID-19 were up by 38 from the previous day.
It is not uncommon to see COVID-19 hospitalizations decline over the weekend and increase again on Mondays and Tuesdays, the IDPH hospitalization records show.
State health officials also announced Tuesday 20 more Illinois residents have died from COVID-19 while an additional 1,466 new cases of the respiratory disease were diagnosed.
That brings the state's death toll to 8,332 and 264,210 cases since the outbreak began.
Seven of the 20 dead are from Chicago and suburbs, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health. They include two from suburban Cook County, one from DuPage County, one from Kane County and three from Chicago.
The state's seven-day rolling average infection rate now stands at 3.6%. The state is now reporting 96% of those who were diagnosed with the disease have recovered.
Meanwhile, Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced more than $220 million in state grants will be made available soon to small businesses affected by the pandemic. Last month, nearly $50 million -- in $10,000 and $20,000 increments -- was distributed to more than 2,800 small businesses similarly affected by the pandemic.
The new round of grants will target specific business types and allot half the funds to downstate and rural businesses, Pritzker said.
"This grant program will be smart and targeted in its support of small businesses," he said.
Pritzker also warned that without federal financial assistance, the state is looking at significant budget cuts. He told the heads of state agencies to submit plans for cuts of at least 5% this fiscal year, which runs through June 30, and 10% for next year.
He blamed Republican congressional leaders for stalling financial aid to states and municipalities.
"GOP leadership's decision to support big business and not working families has reached a critical point," Pritzker said. "We are literally talking about thousands of people who will get laid off."
Pritzker also said he is in no rush to allow high school football programs to start action despite what neighboring states are allowing.
"This isn't a political decision," he said when asked about relaxing the state's rules. "I'm not willing to sacrifice peoples' lives or health."