When is omicron peak coming? Case counts in Illinois dip slightly, but still high

  • Gretchen Rodriguez, a registered nurse in Elmhurst Hospital's Progressive Critical Care Unit, cares for a patient with COVID-19.

    Gretchen Rodriguez, a registered nurse in Elmhurst Hospital's Progressive Critical Care Unit, cares for a patient with COVID-19. Courtesy of Elmhurst Hospital

 
 
Updated 1/11/2022 7:20 AM

New COVID-19 infections remain high but edged down from record-setting tallies in the 40,000s last week, Illinois Department of Public Health records showed Monday.

The IDPH reported 29,011 new cases on Saturday, 29,585 on Sunday and 19,237 on Monday, all below the seven-day daily average of 31,647.

 

After weeks of spiraling COVID-19 numbers, is there an end in sight?

"Most analytics and predictions are showing the peak sometime within the next several weeks," said Dr. Michael Bauer, medical director at Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital.

The question is "how quickly, once we hit the peak, will there be a drop-off," Bauer said. "Is it going to be a very fast decline like in South Africa? A medium decline like we're seeing in the United Kingdom, or a bit slower? That's what really is going to tell the tale of how quickly we're out of this surge."

Illinois hospitals were treating 7,114 COVID-19 patients Sunday night. The highest tally in Illinois since the pandemic began was 7,170, recorded on Saturday night, coming amid a surge in patients contracting the highly contagious omicron variant. The seven-day average for hospitalizations is 7,011.

The number of people dying of COVID-19 in Illinois came to 98 on Saturday, 75 on Sunday and 34 on Monday. The state does not provide updates on data on weekends.

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The state's seven-day case positivity rate also decreased to 13.4%, compared to 15.2% Friday. The dip reflects in part a record number of 488,873 COVID-19 tests processed Saturday, resulting in a one-day case positivity rate of 5.9%.

From Friday to Sunday, 150,611 more COVID-19 shots were administered. The seven-day average for a single day is 54,224.

So far, 8,209,652 Illinoisans have been fully vaccinated, or 64.8% of the state's 12.7 million population, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. Right now that means two doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines several weeks apart, or one Johnson & Johnson dose.

Of those people who are fully vaccinated, 41.6% have received a booster shot.

"We are going to hopefully peak soon (and) get out of this," Bauer said. "But the single, most effective strategy is to be as up to date on your vaccination status as you can be."

The federal government has delivered 22,298,775 doses of vaccine to Illinois since distribution began in mid-December, and 19,686,548 shots have been administered.

Total cases statewide stand at 2,460,270, and 28,568 Illinoisans have died since the pandemic began.

Labs processed 153,056 virus tests in the last 24 hours.

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