September 28, 2021

State data: Southern Illinois has zero available ICU beds

IDPH: Illinois crosses 54% fully vaccinated against COVID-19

Hard-hit Region 5, the southern most part of Illinois, has zero of 88 staffed intensive care unit beds available according to the latest data from the Illinois Department of Public Health.

The 20-county region has been hit hard with COVID-19 cases over the past few months, and is the least-vaccinated region in the state, with only two counties at more than 40% fully vaccinated.

IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike had warned that the region could run out of ICU beds within a few days during an Aug. 26 news conference that included a new statewide mask mandate. Officials had worried that the rise of the delta variant combined with low vaccination rates would stretch hospitals beyond capacity.

“Hospital ICU beds are filling up, once again,” Gov. JB Pritzker said at that news conference. “Our hospital leaders look at their counterparts in southern states where low vaccination rates mirror the communities they serve, and they fear the worst is yet to come for us.”

IDPH spokesperson Melaney Arnold said IDPH had warned of this for weeks.

“Approximately 40% of staffed ICU beds in use in Region 5 are occupied by COVID-19 patients,” Arnold said. “In an attempt to prevent overwhelming our hospital systems, the state of Illinois instituted an indoor masking mandate statewide, put in place vaccination-or-test requirements for health care facilities and schools, and encouraged vaccination with various incentives and have made mobile vaccination clinics available.

“IDPH has worked to set up contractual hospital staff and will have deployed more than 100 health care staff to hospitals in region 5 by the end of the week with more staffing needs being fulfilled in the coming weeks, Arnold continued.

“To further relieve some of the pressure on our healthcare system, IDPH sought and received federal approval to use three U.S. Veterans’ Affairs Medical Center (Danville, Marion, St. Louis) medical and ICU beds for the next month.  Since just last night, four individuals have been transferred to VA hospitals because a lack of bed availability.

“However, all of these emergency actions are temporary fixes and Illinoisans need to follow the commonsense mitigations in place to stop the spread and stem the tide of hospitalizations due to COVID-19.  We have three safe vaccines that are highly effective at preventing hospitalization and death from COVID-19.  Getting vaccinated is crucial to reducing the burden on our health care and hospital systems.”

The IDPH reported 4,660 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 and 40 additional deaths Tuesday.

For Monday, the state administered 17,207 shots.

The state received the results of 87,750 COVID-19 tests in the 24 hours leading up to Tuesday afternoon. The state’s positivity rate is 4.5%.

Illinois has seen 1,578,198 total cases of the virus, and 24,407 people have died. The state has conducted a total of 30,099,346 tests since the start of the pandemic.

As of late Monday, Illinois had 2,263 COVID-19 patients in the hospital. Of those, 547 were in intensive care units, and 314 were on ventilators.

Vaccine update: As of Tuesday, IDPH reported a total of 16,785,755 doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been distributed statewide, with 14,218,536 vaccines administered.

As of Tuesday, 6,886,147 Illinoisans have been fully vaccinated, or 54.05% of the population. Illinois has a population of 12,741,080 people.

Among Illinois residents 12 and older:

Fully Vaccinated: 6,605,876 (61%)

At Least 1 Dose: 8,488,736 (78.3%)

Among Illinois residents 18 and older:

Fully Vaccinated: 6,166,635 (62.6%)

At Least 1 Dose: 7,872,129 (79.9%)

Among Illinois residents 65 and older:

Fully Vaccinated: 1,582,854 (77.5%)

At Least 1 Dose: 1,926,676 (94.3%)

There can be as much as a 72-hour delay in reporting from health care providers on vaccines administered.

In northern Illinois, here is the percentage of the population fully vaccinated by county:

Chicago: 55.92%

Suburban Cook: 59.59%

Lake: 56.70%

McHenry: 54.74%

DuPage: 63.61%

Kane: 54.55%

Will: 54.53%

Kendall: 55.74%

La Salle: 48.37%

Grundy: 46.90%

DeKalb: 47.28%

Ogle: 46.94%

Lee: 50.15%

Whiteside: 45.46%

Bureau: 46.13%

Regional update: All 11 regions in the state are in Phase 5.

Regional data from the IDPH remains on a three-day lag.

The North Suburban (McHenry and Lake counties) region’s positivity rate stayed flat at 4.3%. Currently, 17% of ICU beds are available.

Within this region, McHenry County’s seven-day positivity rate average increased to 4.7%. Lake County, which does about two-thirds of the testing in the region, is reporting a rolling average of 4.2%.

Hospitalizations have decreased or remained stable seven out of the past 10 days in this region. The region is up to a total of 139 COVID-19 patients in the hospital.

The West Suburban (DuPage and Kane counties) region’s positivity rate stayed flat at 4.3%. Currently, 24% of ICU beds are available.

Within this region, Kane County’s seven-day positivity rate increased to 4.8%, and DuPage County’s stayed flat at 4.1%.

Hospitalizations decreased or remained stable 10 out of the past 10 days in this region. The region is down to 172 total COVID-19 patients in the hospital.

The South Suburban (Will and Kankakee counties) region’s positivity rate decreased to 5.7%. Currently, 25% of ICU beds are available.

Hospitalizations decreased or remained stable two out of the past 10 days in this region. The region is down to 125 total COVID-19 patients in the hospital.

The North (Boone, Carroll, DeKalb, Jo Daviess, Lee, Ogle, Stephenson, Whiteside and Winnebago counties) region’s positivity rate increased to 5.8%.

Currently, 16% of ICU beds are available.

Within this region, DeKalb County’s positivity rate increased to 6.5%, Lee County’s rate increased to 2.4%, and Whiteside County’s went up to 3.4%.

Hospitalizations decreased or remained stable two out of the past 10 days in this region. The region is down to 108 total COVID-19 hospitalizations.

The North-Central (Bureau, Fulton, Grundy, Henderson, Henry, Kendall, Knox, La Salle, Livingston, Marshall, McDonough, McLean, Mercer, Peoria, Putnam, Rock Island, Stark, Tazewell, Warren and Woodford counties) region’s positivity rate stayed flat at 5.6%.

Within this region, La Salle County’s seven-day positivity rate increased to 4.8%. Currently, 17% of ICU beds are available. Hospitalizations decreased or remained stable for five out of the past 10 days. The region is down to a total of 245 COVID-19 patients in the hospital.

Chicago’s positivity rate fell to 3.5%. Currently, 18% of ICU beds are available. Hospitalizations decreased or remained stable for three out of the past 10 days.

Suburban Cook County’s positivity rate fell to 3.8%. Currently, 16% of ICU beds are available. Hospitalizations decreased or remained stable two out of the past 10 days in this region.

John Sahly

John Sahly

John Sahly is the digital editor for the Shaw Media Local News Network. He has been with Shaw Media since 2008, previously serving as the Northwest Herald's digital editor, and the Daily Chronicle sports editor and sports reporter.