New COVID-19 cases top 20,000 for second time this week, for a 15% positive-test rate

For the second time in five days, Illinois has recorded more than 20,000 new COVID-19 cases.

State health officials Tuesday reported that 20,804 new cases of the respiratory disease were diagnosed from 137,427 test results. That means more than 15% of the tests yielded a new case, according to Illinois Department of Public Health records.

Five days ago, the state recorded 21,131 new cases, a single-day record. But then, just 8.7% of all tests resulted in a new case.

IDPH officials also reported COVID-19 hospitalizations increased by 445 patients within the past 24 hours, a 9.3% increase in a single day and the largest one-day growth since the outset of the pandemic.

There are now 5,200 COVID-19 patients hospitalized throughout Illinois, including 1,093 in ICU beds.

It's also the first time more than 1,000 COVID-19 patients have been in intensive care in more than a year in Illinois, IDPH records show.

Another 96 COVID-19 deaths also were reported Tuesday by IDPH officials.

Just six staffed ICU beds were open in hospitals in Will and Kankakee counties, according to IDPH data.

At hospitals in suburban Cook County, just 68 of the 664 staffed ICU beds were open. In Lake and McHenry counties, hospitals were reporting 34 of the 164 staffed ICU beds were open. And at hospitals in DuPage and Kane counties, IDPH records showed 50 out of 323 staffed ICU beds were open.

Less than 100 of the 823 staffed ICU beds remain open in Chicago hospitals.

Because of the surge in cases, many hospitals and health groups have begun restricting visitors at many suburban locations. Edward-Elmhurst Health and North Shore University Health Systems have updated visitation guidelines.

The state's seven-day case positivity rate jumped by more than 1 percentage point Tuesday, a rare occurrence given the number of tests being performed. It now stands at 8.9%.

Case positivity is the percentage of test results that yield a new case. A seven-day average is used to smooth any anomalies in the daily reporting of those figures.

There now have been 2,098,064 cases of COVID-19 diagnosed in Illinois throughout the pandemic, and the state's total death toll from the virus is now 27,684 confirmed fatalities. Another 3,167 are considered probable COVID-19 deaths.

Meanwhile, IDPH officials are reporting another 48,877 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered throughout Illinois.

Vaccine providers statewide now have administered 19,034,693 doses since they were made available in December of 2020.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 64.2% of Illinois' 12.7 million residents are fully vaccinated.

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