COVID-19 hospitalizations climb to highest point since April

State health officials on Friday reported 2,286 COVID-19 patients are being treated in hospitals throughout Illinois, 551 of whom were in intensive care beds.

The number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients is up 32 patients from the previous day's count, and the number in the ICU is up 24 patients from the day before, according to Illinois Department of Public Health figures.

The number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients is the most since April 19, according to state records.

IDPH officials also reported 37 more Illinois residents have died from the virus, while 5,980 new cases have been diagnosed.

That brings the state's death toll from COVID-19 to 24,067, with 1,538,324 cases of the disease diagnosed in Illinois residents since the pandemic began.

Starting this month, IDPH began counting reinfections among new case counts. That means someone who tests positive for an infection after last testing positive more than 90 days earlier is considered a new case, IDPH officials reported on the agency's website.

Previously, the state was counting each person once among the state's total caseload. IDPH officials have not begun reporting how many reinfections are part of the state's daily case count.

The average case positivity rate is 5% over seven days, up slightly from Thursday. Case positivity is the percentage of new cases derived from a batch of tests, which allow health officials to track the growth of infection.

IDPH recorded 109,536 new test results Friday, as well.

Additionally, IDPH officials reported 27,372 more COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered statewide over the past 24 hours.

Illinois vaccine providers have administered 14 million doses of the vaccine since it became available in December.

DuPage County leads all counties in Illinois with 62.8% of its population fully vaccinated. But DuPage County's seven-day case positivity rate is the highest in the suburbs at 5.2%. The county is averaging 237 new cases of COVID-19 a day for the week.

Suburban Cook County has 58.7% of its population fully vaccinated, according to IDPH figures. The area's seven-day case positivity rate is currently at 4%, and it's averaging 548 new cases daily over the past seven days.

Lake County is reporting 55.9% of the population as fully vaccinated. The county's seven-day case positivity rate is at 4.5%, according to state reports. Lake County is averaging 191 new cases a day for the week.

Nearly 54% of all McHenry County residents are fully vaccinated, according to IDPH figures. The county's seven-day case positivity rate is second-lowest in the suburbs at 4.4%, and the county is averaging 71 new cases a day over the past week.

McHenry County once had the highest case positivity rate in suburbs, but county health officials said test results from schools are bringing it down.

“Because of the schools, many more tests are being completed on individuals that are in quarantine and not experiencing symptoms, therefore increasing the denominator,” said Lindsey Salvatelli, a McHenry County Health Department spokeswoman. “This is why we do not use positivity rates alone to measure transmission in the community.”

Kane County is reporting 53.7% of its residents are fully vaccinated. The seven-day case positivity rate is 4.8%. Kane County is averaging 131 new cases a day over the past week.

In Will County, 53.3% of the population is fully vaccinated, according to IDPH records. The seven-day case positivity rate is 5%, and the county is averaging 188 new cases a day over the past week.

State health officials continue to gauge the availability of intensive care beds throughout the state to determine whether to institute greater virus mitigation mandates.

Regionally, IDPH reported the hospitals in Lake and McHenry counties combined have 19% of ICU beds available. Suburban Cook County hospitals are reporting less than 17% of ICU beds are available. Hospitals in DuPage and Kane counties have more than 26% of ICU beds open, but hospitals in Will and Kankakee counties have less than 20% of ICU beds available.

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