COVID-19 hospitalizations and cases are down, but blood donors needed

Average hospitalizations for COVID-19 decreased by 17% and new cases shrank by 52% compared to last week, Illinois Department of Public Health data showed Wednesday.

There were nearly 6,200 patients a day from Jan. 16 through Saturday, but that has fallen to about 5,147 this week.

Average daily COVID-19 infections were down to 13,218 Sunday through Wednesday, compared to 27,593 last week.

The drop in patients and new cases comes at the same time as an unwelcome decrease in blood supplies that has one suburban hospital appealing to the public for donations.

The American Red Cross is reporting its worst blood shortage in a decade with a 10% drop in donations since the pandemic began in March 2020. That's partly related to fewer blood drives, with a 62% drop in college and high school events alone.

"We have an ideal level of blood products and a minimum level," said Nancy Roxworthy, blood bank section chief at Northwestern Medicine Delnor Hospital in Geneva. "Right now, we're all pretty much sitting at the minimum level, which is always a little scary, although we do have good backup.

"We're appealing to see if more people can donate and support their own community, because the blood stays here. With one donation, you can help three people. It could be your neighbors."

To find out where to donate blood, go to or the American Red Cross.

New COVID-19 infections totaled 15,732 Wednesday, with 143 more deaths.

Illinois hospitals were treating 5,019 COVID-19 patients Tuesday night.

The state's seven-day average case positivity rate is now at 11.3%.

Total cases statewide stand at 2,867,299, and 30,419 Illinoisans have died since the pandemic began.

On Tuesday, 41,859 more COVID-19 shots were administered. The seven-day average is 39,760.

So far, 8,335,013 Illinoisans have been fully vaccinated, or 65.8% of the state's 12.7 million population, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. The CDC defines fully vaccinated as two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or one dose of Johnson & Johnson's.

Of those people who are fully vaccinated, 46.1% have received a booster shot.

The federal government has delivered 22,983,745 doses of vaccine to Illinois since distribution began in mid-December of 2020, and 20,347,598 shots have been administered.

Labs processed 143,139 virus tests in the last 24 hours. COVID-19 tests, which are a factor in case counts, fell by 36%, with an average tally of 145,287 tests processed Sunday through Wednesday compared to 227,177 last week.

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So far, 8,335,013 people have been fully vaccinated, or 65.8% of Illinois' 12.7 million population, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. Daily Herald File Photo
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