Three counties red-flagged over number of COVID-19 patients in the ICU

  • Nurse Rachel Gilio cares for a patient with COVID-19 at Edward Hospital in Naperville.

    Nurse Rachel Gilio cares for a patient with COVID-19 at Edward Hospital in Naperville. Courtesy of Edward Hospital

Updated 8/23/2021 6:04 PM

A spike in seriously ill COVID-19 patients at hospitals in suburban Cook, Lake and McHenry counties has triggered an Illinois Department of Public Health alert regarding the number of intensive care beds being used, state data showed Monday.

For 10 consecutive days, suburban Cook has fallen under a 20% availability threshold for ICU beds, the IDPH reported.


In Lake and McHenry counties, which comprise public health Region 9, it's been five days under the 20% level for ICU beds. In Chicago, that number is 11 days.

The IDPH uses metrics such as the availability of ICU beds, hospitalization increases and positivity rates for COVID-19 tests to measure how the virus is surging in communities.

Chicago, Cook and all the collar counties also tripped an IDPH alert concerning consecutive increases in COVID-19 hospitalizations. However, all have positivity rates below 8% for COVID-19 tests. A level of 8% or higher raises a red flag.

New cases of COVID-19 totaled 9,213 over the weekend, and there were 44 more deaths from the respiratory disease, the IDPH reported Monday.

The state recorded 4,203 new infections on Saturday, 2,007 on Sunday and 3,003 on Monday. The seven-day average for cases is 3,538.

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From Friday through Sunday, 67,495 more COVID-19 shots were administered. The seven-day average is 23,635.

The federal government has delivered 15,902,195 doses of vaccine to Illinois since distribution began in mid-December, and 13,813,317 shots have been administered.

So far, 6,696,960 people have been fully vaccinated, nearly 52.6% of Illinois' 12.7 million population. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two doses several weeks apart.

Illinois hospitals were treating 2,064 COVID-19 patients Sunday night.

The state's positivity rate for COVID-19 cases is 5.1% based on a seven-day average.

Total cases statewide stand at 1,491,582, and 23,761 Illinoisans have died since the pandemic began.

Labs processed 71,247 virus tests in the last 72 hours.

The IDPH does not update its COVID-19 data on the weekend.

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