COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to reach new highs
By Jerry Nowicki
Capitol News Illinois
SPRINGFIELD – Hospitalizations for COVID-19 continue to climb as the entire state is either subject to increased mitigation measures or would be starting Wednesday, Nov. 4.
A Capitol News Illinois analysis of weekly hospitalization averages shows the average number of hospital beds in use by COVID-19 patients for the week ending Nov. 1 increased by 603, or 24 percent, from the week prior.
There were 3,091 hospital beds in use on average last week, an increase of 55 percent from two weeks prior and 94 percent from the week ending Oct. 4.
Daily average intensive care bed usage for COVID-19 was up 124 from the week prior, a 23 percent increase from a week ago. ICU bed usage for COVID-19 was up 58 percent from two weeks ago and 70 percent from the week ending Oct. 11.
Average daily ventilator usage for COVID-19 for the week ending Nov. 1 increased by 63 from the week prior, a 30 percent increase. The number marked a 72 percent increase from the week ending Oct. 18.
As of Sunday night, the Illinois Department of Public Health, IDPH, reported 3,371 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 in the state, including 722 in ICU beds and 298 on ventilators. Those numbers were all second-wave highs.
Last week, IDPH director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said all of the state’s COVID-19 mitigation regions that do not include or are not adjacent to Cook County are seeing hospitalization numbers meeting or exceeding the first wave, and two Central Illinois regions could see hospital bed shortages within two to four weeks.
On Sunday, the governor’s office announced that Region 2 of the mitigation plan, which includes Peoria and several surrounding counties, will see increased mitigations starting Wednesday. It’s the final of 11 regions to trigger mitigation measures, all of which have COVID-19 test positivity rates exceeding 8 percent.
From Saturday to Monday, IDPH reported an average of 7,033 new cases each day among an average of 79,737 test results reported over the three-day period. That included a one-day record for new cases with 7,899 reported Saturday, leading to an 8.8 percent positivity rate for the three-day period.
That brought the state’s rolling seven-day average case positivity rate to 8.1 percent, its highest number since May 28. Monday’s one-day positivity rate of 9.1 percent was the highest recorded since June 2.
On Sunday, Oct. 29, IDPH also began reporting test positivity in its daily news releases.
While case positivity counts an individual only the first time they test positive for COVID-19 when determining positivity rate, test positivity counts each of that person’s positive tests.
The state’s test positivity rate, which is the same rate used to determine regional positivity rates for the purposes of mitigation measures, was 9.7 percent on a rolling seven-day average as of Monday, which was 1.6 percentage points higher than its rolling seven-day average case positivity rate.
IDPH also reported another 99 COVID-19-related deaths over the three-day period, bringing the state’s death toll since the pandemic began to 9,810 among 423,502 confirmed cases. More than 7.8 million tests have been conducted in the state.
Capitol News Illinois is a nonprofit, nonpartisan news service covering state government and distributed to more than 400 newspapers statewide. It is funded primarily by the Illinois Press Foundation and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation.