January 22, 2022
Coronavirus

Unvaccinated and not fully vaccinated continue to drive COVID-19 hospitalizations

Pritzker: Another 552 health care workers to arrive at hospitals across the state by next Friday

FILE - A nurse suits up with protective gear before entering a patient's room at the COVID-19 Intensive Care Unit at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, in Lebanon, N.H., Jan. 3, 2022. The omicron variant has caused a surge of new cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. and many hospitals are not only swamped with cases but severely shorthanded because of so many employees out with COVID-19. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)

The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 308 breakthrough COVID-19 hospitalizations for the past week, and 210 breakthrough deaths. It’s a 10% week-over-week increase in breakthrough hospitalizations.

Illinois has seen a continued increase in total COVID-19 hospitalizations, setting pandemic state records for total hospitalizations, and currently at 7,219 total active hospitalized patients for the first time ever during the pandemic.

Breakthrough is defined as an individual who tests positive for COVID-19 at least 14 days after being fully vaccinated and did not test positive in the previous 45 days. It does not take into account booster shots.

In order to expand staffed hospital beds, 2,048 health care workers have been deployed across the state, Pritzker said. There are 919 health care workers on site supporting hospitals hit hard by COVID-19. Another 552 will arrive at hospitals by “next Friday,” according to the governor.

That includes additional federal personnel added to the Rockford region. That is help being provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

“We have the physical bed, and a room,” Pritzker said. “But if you don’t have any staff, that’s a useless location. So those strike teams are designed to, when there is an acute need in some area, to literally take those staff and send them to those areas so everyone can get treated.”

IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said hospitals across the state have been asking for help because of a lack of staff.

“They have had a significant number of staff leave the profession because of the exhaustion and the stress that they’ve had the last couple of years,” Ezike said. “We’re starting with a lower number of beds because of the decimated workforce capacity.”

Analysis of new hospital admissions for COVID-19-like illness in the state over the past week put breakthrough hospitalizations at 6.98% of all COVID-19 hospitalizations in Illinois in the past week. This means those who are unvaccinated and/or not fully vaccinated made up 93.02% of COVID-19 hospital admissions in the past week. This data also does not take booster doses into account. Breakthrough deaths accounted for 32.4% of all COVID-19 deaths in Illinois last week.

COVID-19-like illness is defined as a if a patient presents with a fever and either cough, difficulty breathing or is given a diagnosis of COVID-19.

There have been a total of 6,395 breakthrough hospitalizations, and 7,793,508 of the state’s population is fully vaccinated. Of the fully vaccinated population in the state, 99.918% have not been hospitalized with a breakthrough COVID-19 infection.

There have been 1,884 total breakthrough COVID-19 deaths in Illinois.

The IDPH also released new data about breakthrough hospitalizations and deaths, showing the majority of breakthrough hospitalizations happening in the elderly population.

For breakthrough hospitalizations:

70% are 65 or older (4,477 total breakthrough hospitalizations in this group)

30% are between 18 and 64 years old (1,887 total breakthrough hospitalizations in this group)

Fewer than 1% are 17 or younger (25 total breakthrough hospitalizations in this group)

71% have at least one underlying condition or are immunocompromised

For breakthrough deaths:

87% were 65 or older

13% were between 18 and 64

51% had at least one underlying condition or were immunocompromised

The IDPH reported 34,573 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 and 144 additional deaths Wednesday.

For Tuesday, the state administered 56,796 shots.

The state received the results of 237,157 COVID-19 tests in the 24 hours leading up to Wednesday afternoon. The state’s positivity rate is 12.0%

Illinois has seen 2,522,953 total cases of the virus, and 28,804 people have died. The state has conducted a total of 47,411,987 tests since the start of the pandemic.

As of late Tuesday, Illinois had 7,219 COVID-19 patients in the hospital. Of those, 1,131 were in intensive care units, and 650 were on ventilators.

Vaccine update: As of Wednesday, the IDPH reported a total of 22,423,735 doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been distributed statewide, with 19,779,403 vaccines administered.

As of Wednesday, 7,793,508 Illinoisans have been fully vaccinated, or 61.17% of the population. Illinois has a population of 12,741,080 people.

Also, 3,447,852 people have received a booster dose, or 27% of the state’s population. Among 5-11 year olds, 31.74% have received at least one vaccine dose and 22.50% are fully vaccinated.

CDC numbers:

Among Illinois residents 5 and older:

Fully Vaccinated: 8,222,262 (69%)

At Least 1 Dose: 9,313,630 (78.1%)

Among Illinois residents 12 and older:

Fully Vaccinated: 7,955,195 (73.4%)

At Least 1 Dose: 8,933,887 (82.4%)

Among Illinois residents 18 and older:

Fully Vaccinated: 7,372,649 (74.8%)

At Least 1 Dose: 8,278,358 (84%)

Among Illinois residents 65 and older:

Fully Vaccinated: 1,775,168 (86.9%)

At Least 1 Dose: 1,952,208 (95%)

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: 63.47%

Suburban Cook: 67.65%

Lake: 65.11%

McHenry: 61.98%

DuPage: 71.52%

Kane: 61.71%

Will: 62.21%

Kendall: 64.14%

La Salle: 54.89%

Grundy: 53.90%

DeKalb: 53.10%

Ogle: 53.48%

Lee: 56.08%

Whiteside: 49.31%

Bureau: 53.01%

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 decreased to 18.0%. Currently, 15% of ICU beds are available.

Within this region, McHenry County’s seven-day positivity rate average decreased to 21.2%. Lake County, which does about two-thirds of the testing in the region, is reporting a rolling average of 16.8%.

Hospitalizations have increased 10 out of the past 10 days in this region. The region is up to a total of 399 COVID-19 patients in the hospital.

The West Suburban (DuPage and Kane counties) region’s positivity rate decreased to 20.8%. Currently, 10% of ICU beds are available.

Within this region, Kane County’s seven-day positivity rate decreased to 23.3%, and DuPage County’s decreased to 19.6%.

Hospitalizations have increased 10 out of the past 10 days in this region. The region is up to 770 total COVID-19 patients in the hospital.

The South Suburban (Will and Kankakee counties) region’s positivity rate decreased to 22.7%. Currently, 5.2% of ICU beds are available.

Hospitalizations decreased or remained stable one out of the past 10 days in this region. The region is down to 390 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 decreased to 21.9%.

Currently, 6.3% of ICU beds are available.

Within this region, DeKalb County’s positivity rate increased to 23.2%, Lee County’s rate increased to 19.2%, and Whiteside County’s went up to 22.1%.

Hospitalizations decreased or remained stable three out of the past 10 days in this region. The region is down to 326 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 decreased to 21.1%.

Within this region, La Salle County’s seven-day positivity rate increased to 21%. Currently, 9% of ICU beds are available. Hospitalizations have increased 10 out of the past 10 days. The region is down to a total of 574 COVID-19 patients in the hospital.

Chicago’s positivity rate fell to 15.9%. Currently, 8% of ICU beds are available. Hospitalizations have increased 10 out of the past 10 days.

Suburban Cook County’s positivity rate fell to 17.0%. Currently, 8% of ICU beds are available. Hospitalizations have increased 10 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.