COVID-19 hospital patients in Will, Kankakee counties nearly quadruple in past month

The county’s COVID-19 test positivity rate remains around 7%

The number of COVID-19 patients in the hospital in the South Suburban Region, which includes Will and Kankakee counties, has nearly quadrupled in the past month, public health data show.

As of Thursday, the region had a seven-day rolling average of 96 COVID-19 patients in the hospital, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health. Just one month before, there was only an average of 27 COVID-19 patients in the region’s hospitals.

Like much of the rest of the state, the rise in COVID-19 patients has put more strain on hospital’s intensive care unit bed capacity. As of Thursday, only 22% of ICU beds in the region were available.

The hospital data reflects the worsening transmission of the virus the region and state have experienced over the past several weeks.

Will County’s rolling average COVID-19 test positivity rate stood at 7.4% as of Tuesday, per the IDPH data. Just one month ago, the county’s positivity rate was only 4%.

The county continues to see progress on getting more residents vaccinated, though the number of daily vaccinations has slowed somewhat in recent days according to the IDPH. The county is seeing an average of around 1,300 shots administered per day according to the IDPH, though it was averaging closer to 2,000 daily vaccinations a little over a week ago.

Still, about 53.3% of the nearly 700,000 residents in Will County are fully vaccinated for COVID-19.

For more information, including where to find the nearest COVID-19 vaccine clinic, visit willcountyhealth.org.

Alex Ortiz

Alex Ortiz

Alex Ortiz is a reporter for The Herald-News in Joliet. Originally from Romeoville, Ill., he joined The Herald-News in 2017 and mostly covers Will County government, politics, education and more. He earned his bachelor's degree at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a master's degree from Northwestern University.