COVID-19 update: Hospitalizations up 6.3% from last week
After seeing a steady decline in COVID-19 hospitalizations for the past several weeks, Illinois Department of Public Health officials reported today that the number of patients being treated for the disease was up 6.3% from a week ago.
Illinois hospitals are treating 500 COVID-19 patients after spending the previous eight days with fewer than 500 hospitalized.
The number of COVID-19 patients in ICU beds is also up 10 from a week ago, jumping from 64 to 74 currently, IDPH records show.
The rise in hospitalizations coincides with a rise in cases caused by an omicron subvariant that is rapidly becoming the dominant strain across the country, public health officials said.
The state's seven-day case positivity rate has also increased from 1.4% last week, to 1.7% currently. Case positivity is the percentage of test results that yield a new case of the disease. A seven-day average is used to account for any anomalies in the daily reporting of those figures.
Health officials worry if hospitalizations increase once again, so will the state's death toll.
The state is currently averaging 12 deaths a day over the past week, the lowest level for that metric since August 2021. However, deaths are a lagging indicator in the pandemic and often rise several weeks after hospitalizations increase.
Over the past week, 87 more Illinois residents have died from the virus, IDPH records show. The state's death toll from the respiratory disease is now at 33,394.
The state ended March with 614 COVID-19 deaths recorded, down 66.8% from February's death toll.
Another 8,426 cases were also diagnosed this week. Since the outset of the pandemic, 3,069,650 infections have been diagnosed statewide, according to IDPH figures.
Vaccine providers in Illinois have begun providing a second booster dose to individuals 50 and older as well as those 12 and older suffering from certain immunocompromised medical conditions. Federal health regulators say the booster is needed for added protection against the new subvariant that is more contagious, but not believed to be more dangerous than other strains that came before it.
Nearly 20,000 more shots were recorded Thursday, the most in a single day since mid-February, IDPH records show.
Vaccine providers in Illinois hadn't recorded more than 10,000 shots in a single day since March 5.
IDPH officials are reporting 10,961 of the shots administered on Wednesday and Thursday were second booster doses. That's almost 40% of all shots for those two days.
CVS Health officials said they have begun inoculating older Americans and those who are immunocompromised with second boosters. Appointments for same-day shots are available as are walk-in appointments at most locations, officials said.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is reporting 68.2% of the state's 12.7 million residents are now fully vaccinated. Of those fully vaccinated, 50.2% have received at least one booster dose.
The CDC is also reporting that every county in Illinois, spare Edgar County on the eastern edge of the state is at a low-risk level for community spread.
In the suburbs, the CDC is reporting 77.7% of Lake County residents are fully vaccinated, which is the second-highest rate in the date behind Jo Daviess County in the northwest corner of Illinois.
In DuPage County, 76.9% of residents are fully vaccinated, CDC records show. Cook County residents are 72.3% fully vaccinated as well.
In Will County, 67.6% of residents are fully vaccinated, while 66.9% of residents in both Kane and McHenry counties are fully vaccinated, CDC figures indicate.