COVID-19 hospitalizations climb back over 800 in Illinois, doubling in a month
Less than a month ago, hospitals in Illinois were treating fewer than 400 COVID-19 patients, but now that figure has climbed over 800 again for the first time since early June.
Of the 801 patients being treated in hospitals around the state, 169 are in intensive care, Illinois Department of Public Health records show.
The growth in cases and hospitalizations mainly caused by the proliferation of the delta variant also caused the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to revise guidance for fully vaccinated individuals.
The updated guidance recommends everyone, no matter their vaccination status, wear masks indoors at public settings in counties where the transmission risk is considered high or substantial. Among the six-county Chicago area, only Will County is listed as having a "substantial" transmission risk, according to the CDC's website.
The designation appears due to Will County reporting more than 50 new cases for every 100,000 residents over the past week. Counties below that threshold have a moderate transmission risk. Counties seeing more than 100 new cases per 100,000 people over a week have high transmission risk, according to the CDC.
IDPH officials followed suit shortly after the CDC guidance was announced.
"Cases and hospitalizations due to COVID-19 both continue to increase, overwhelmingly among the unvaccinated, but the risk is greater for everyone if we do not stop the ongoing spread of the virus and the delta variant," said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike. "Until more people are vaccinated, we join CDC in recommending everyone, regardless of vaccination status, wear a mask indoors in areas of substantial and high transmissions, and in K-12 schools."
Meanwhile, Illinois COVID-19 vaccine providers have administered 13,852 more doses statewide, IDPH officials reported Tuesday.
Vaccine providers are now averaging 17,776 doses administered a day over the past week. IDPH records now show that 56.2% of the state's vaccine-eligible residents who are 12 and older are fully vaccinated, while 71.9% of that population has received at least one dose of the vaccine.
Five more COVID-19 deaths were reported Tuesday in Illinois, along with 1,669 new cases of the disease being diagnosed.
That brings the state's death toll from COVID-19 to 23,414, with 1,413,490 infections in Illinois since the outset of the pandemic, IDPH figures show.
The state's seven-day case positivity rate is at 3.7%. Case positivity is the percentage of tests that result in new cases.