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Some suburban hospitals report having no COVID-19 patients

Hospitalizations from COVID-19 statewide have dropped below 500 for the first time since Illinois health officials began tracking caseloads at hospitals more than 14 months ago.

Some suburban hospital officials are even reporting they have no COVID-19 inpatients.

“This week, for the first time since March 2020, Advocate Sherman Hospital marked a day where we had zero COVID-19 patients in our care,” said Dr. Justin Macariola-Coad, chief medical officer at the Elgin hospital. “This milestone brings a new sense of hope and reinforces that vaccinations are working to end this pandemic. While we celebrate this victory, we know that it could be temporary. COVID-19 remains a threat, especially for those who are not vaccinated. I encourage anyone who has not gotten vaccinated yet to do so. The vaccines are safe and effective and our way back to our normal lives.”

Naperville’s Edward Hospital is treating just three patients currently infected with the virus, while Elmhurst Hospital only has one COVID-19 patient, officials said.

Across the state, COVID-19 patients occupy 1.5% of all available hospital beds, according to Illinois Department of Public Health records.

At the peak of the virus’ effect on the state’s health system in late November, 19% of the state’s hospital beds were taken up by COVID-19 patients, including 37% of all intensive care beds.

IDPH officials reported today that 492 patients are being treated for COVID-19 infections in hospitals statewide. Of those hospitalized, 25% -- 123 patients -- are in intensive care.

At the start of the pandemic in April 2020, hospitals statewide were treating as many as 1,290 patients in ICU beds each day, IDPH records show.

IDPH officials also reported today that 50,171 more doses of COVID-19 vaccine had made it into the arms of people in Illinois.

The state’s top public health agency is reporting 46.3% of the state’s population is now fully vaccinated. Of the vaccine-eligible population of anyone 12 and older, 67.3% have received at least one dose.

Vaccine providers statewide have now administered 12,158,530 million doses in the six months the vaccine has been available in Illinois, according to IDPH records.

Suburban Cook County and DuPage County are the only areas in the state where more than 50% of the population is fully vaccinated, IDPH records show.

Meanwhile, IDPH also reported 13 more deaths from the virus today, along with 102 new cases diagnosed.

That brings the state’s death toll from COVID-19 to 23,133, with 1,388,688 residents who have been infected.

The state’s seven-day case positivity rate is at 0.6%, another all-time low. Case positivity allows health officials to track the level of infection within a certain population. The rate is the percentage of new cases derived from a batch of new tests. A seven-day average is used to account for any anomalies in the daily reporting of the figures.