Unvaccinated patients with COVID-19 trigger alert in DuPage, Kane
DuPage and Kane counties have been red-flagged by the Illinois Department of Public Health for rising COVID-19 hospitalizations, nearly all involving unvaccinated patients, officials said Thursday.
"The Kane County Health Department is seeing a slight uptick in cases overall with 11 cases admitted to the hospital between July 8 and Wednesday -- all unvaccinated," agency spokeswoman Susan Stack said.
Also Thursday, Cook County leaders announced the three remaining mass vaccination sites, including one in Des Plaines, will close next week as the workload shrinks to 100 to 150 shots a day.
Instead, the county will shift to a "hyperlocal" approach to inoculate people in vulnerable minority communities as the highly infectious COVID-19 delta variant proliferates, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said.
"All you have to do is listen to the news of the spread of the delta virus to see what a perilous time we're in," she said.
More than 1 million suburban Cook residents have been vaccinated. "We believe most people who knew at the onset they wanted to get vaccinated have been vaccinated," Cook County Health CEO Israel Rocha said.
Now the agency plans to work with local organizations and use mobile clinics to deliver shots in areas with low inoculation rates.
Mass clinics in Des Plaines and Forest Park will close July 20, and a third in Matheson will shut down July 21.
Like DuPage and Kane, suburban Cook also triggered an IDPH alert, but it was because of two consecutive days with less than 20% of ICU beds available in hospitals.
Kane and DuPage registered seven out of 10 days with growing COVID-19 patient admissions.
"In DuPage County, over 99.9% of hospitalized COVID-19 cases since mid-December 2020 have been in persons not fully vaccinated against COVID-19," health department spokeswoman Stephanie Calvillo said.
"Studies have shown the current COVID-19 vaccines are safe and highly effective against COVID-19 and its variants, including the more dangerous and transmissible delta variant."
The state uses hospitalizations, ICU bed use and COVID-19 positivity rates as indicators of whether the pandemic is surging or receding.
New cases of COVID-19 grew to 861 Thursday with seven more deaths from the respiratory disease, the IDPH reported.
On Wednesday, 21,788 more COVID-19 shots were administered. The seven-day average is 21,813.
The federal government has delivered 14,402,695 doses of vaccine to Illinois since distribution began in mid-December, and 12,895,755 shots have been administered.
So far, 6,330,947 people have been fully vaccinated, or 49.7% of Illinois' 12.7 million population. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two doses several weeks apart.
Illinois hospitals were treating 509 COVID-19 patients Wednesday night.
The state's positivity rate for COVID-19 cases is 1.9% based on a seven-day average.
Total cases statewide stand at 1,399,270, and 23,350 Illinoisans have died since the pandemic began.
Labs processed 41,166 virus tests in the last 24 hours.
For information about getting a vaccination, go to vaccines.gov.