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Coronavirus

IDPH Director Dr. Ezike: Regions 1-6 could see shortages of hospital beds in "as short as" 2-4 weeks

Illinois sets a new single-day record for COVID-19 cases

Ngozi Ezike, director of the state Department of Public Health, removes her face mask before giving her update to the coronavirus pandemic in Chicago, Monday, April 13, 2020. (Tyler LaRiviere/Chicago Sun-Times via AP)
Ngozi Ezike, director of the state Department of Public Health, removes her face mask before giving her update to the coronavirus pandemic in Chicago, Monday, April 13, 2020. (Tyler LaRiviere/Chicago Sun-Times via AP)

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The Illinois Department of Public Health reported a single-day state record 6,943 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 36 additional deaths Friday as the state's public health director warned of potential shortages of hospital beds in several regions in the next month.

The seven-day rolling average of Illinois’ positivity rate is now 7.3%. The state received the results of a single-day state record of 95,111 COVID-19 tests in the 24 hours leading up to Friday afternoon.

Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker said he was going push for more testing in the state.

"We’re going to keep pushing that number higher and higher so that tests are available to you whenever possible," Pritzker said.

Illinois has seen 402,401 total cases of the virus, and 9,711 people have died. The state has conducted a total of 7,637,209 tests since the start of the pandemic.

As of late Thursday, Illinois had 3,092 COVID-19 patients in the hospital, the most since June 2. Of those, 673 were in intensive care units, the most since June 9, and 288 were on ventilators, the most since June 18.

"Indoor Halloween parties are just not likely to be safe, so let’s do the right thing so our next holidays are not a reason to mourn," IDPH director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said at a Friday news conference, reminding people to make "pandemic-guided" decisions about what to do for Halloween.

Ezike was asked about hospitalizations and how the number of available beds compare with the first wave of COVID-19 in the spring.

For regions 1-6, which cover everything but the suburbs and city of Chicago, Ezike said those regions were already at their peak from the spring wave.

“And we are not at the peak now," Ezike said.

Ezike said hospitals in those regions are approaching territory they've never seen before during the pandemic.

"There are beds for everyone today, but if you forecast out with the amount of cases we’re having, we do predict there could be shortages in as short as 2-4 weeks," Ezike said of regions 1-6.

For regions 7-11, which encompass the suburbs and city of Chicago, Ezike said those regions are not at the spring wave levels.

"They are not close to the numbers they saw at the peak," she said.

Ezike also said the rate of reproduction of the virus in Illinois, according to the most recent number she saw, was 1.6, meaning for every 100 people who come down with the virus, they will pass it to 160, and those 160 will pass it to 256, and so on.

The state also announced 49 counties were under warning for a COVID-19 outbreak, down from 51 the week before. The counties under warning include: Adams, Alexander, Bond, Boone, Clark, Clay, Clinton, Coles, Crawford, Cumberland, DeKalb, Douglas, DuPage, Effingham, Ford, Franklin, Greene, Grundy, Hamilton, Henderson, Jackson, Jo Daviess, Johnson, Kane, Kendall, Knox, Lee, Macon, Marion, McHenry, Mercer, Morgan, Ogle, Perry, Pike, Randolph, Rock Island, Saline, Sangamon, Shelby, Stephenson, Wabash, Warren, Washington, Wayne, Whiteside, Will, Williamson, and Winnebago. 

Regional update: Additional restrictions can be placed on any of the state's 11 health regions if the region sustains an increase in its average positivity rate for seven days out of a 10-day period.

A region may also become more restrictive if there is a seven-day increase in hospital admissions for COVID-19-related illness or a reduction in hospital medical/surgical beds or ICU capacity below 20%. If a region reports three consecutive days with greater than an 8% average positivity rate, additional infection mitigation will be considered through a tiered system of restriction guidelines offered by the IDPH.

The North Suburban region (McHenry and Lake counties) has seen eight days of positivity increases and six days of hospital admission increases. The region's positivity rate increased to 9.1%. Currently, 33% of medical/surgical beds are available and 49% of ICU beds.

Pritzker announced Wednesday that Region 9 (the North Suburban region) will be subject to tier one of additional mitigations from the IDPH beginning Saturday, Oct. 31.

Regional data from IDPH remains on a three-day lag, but within this region, McHenry County's seven-day positivity rate average increased to 12.3%. Lake County, which does about two-thirds of the testing in the region, is reporting a rolling average of 7.9%.

The West Suburban region (DuPage and Kane counties) has seen five days of positivity increases and nine days of hospital admission increases. The region's positivity rate increased to 9.8%. Currently, 23% of medical/surgical beds are available and 40% of ICU beds.

The region (Region 8) is currently in tier one of the state's additional mitigation restrictions. Recently, a Kane County judge granted a temporary restraining order for a Geneva restaurant to allow for indoor dining.

Hospitalizations for COVID-like illness have increased for nine straight days in the Kane/DuPage region, from 22 on Oct. 19 to 36 on Oct. 27.

The South Suburban region (Will and Kankakee counties) has seen eight days of positivity increases and four days of hospital admission increases. The region's positivity rate increased to 10.5%. Currently, 24% of the region's medical/surgical beds are available and 26% of ICU beds. The region (Region 7) is currently in tier one of the state's additional mitigation restrictions.

The North region (Boone, Carroll, DeKalb, Jo Daviess, Lee, Ogle, Stephenson, Whiteside and Winnebago counties) has seen six days of positivity increases and four days of hospital admission increases. The region's positivity rate increased from 12.9% to 13.2%. This remains the highest rate of any of the state's 11 regions. Currently, 31% of medical/surgical beds are available and 36% of ICU beds.

After failing to lower its positivity rate below 8%, the North region (Region 1) was moved into the IDPH's tier two mitigation measures – the only of the state's 11 regions to reach the second tier. Among other things, this means gatherings are limited to ten people and outdoor dining groups are limited to six people instead of ten.

The region's counties that are reporting the highest positivity rates are Boone (18.2%), Stephenson (16.6%), Whiteside (14.7%), and Winnebago (13.6%). DeKalb County's positivity rate increased from 9.6% to 9.9%.

To get back to the standard Phase 4 restrictions, the region will need to maintain an average positivity rate of less than or equal to 6.5% over a three-day period.

The North-Central region (Bureau, Fulton, Grundy, Henderson, Henry, Kendall, Knox, La Salle, Livingston, Marshall, McDonough, McLean, Mercer, Peoria, Putnam, Rock Island, Stark, Tazewell, Warren and Woodford counties) has seen six days of positivity increases and three days of hospital admission increases. The region's positivity rate increased to 8.5%. Currently, 34% of medical/surgical beds are available and 37% of ICU beds.

This marks the first day at or above 8% for the region. If it stays at or above 8% for two more consecutive days, it will be subject to tier one mitigations. Within this region, Kendall County's positivity sits at 10.3%, while La Salle's jumped to 8.9% from 7.7% the day before.

Chicago has seen eight days of positivity increases and eight days of hospital admission increases. The region's positivity rate increased to 8.4%. Currently, 22% of medical/surgical beds are available and 29% of ICU beds.

Pritzker announced Tuesday that Region 11 (the city of Chicago) will be subject to tier one of additional mitigations from the IDPH beginning Friday, Oct. 30.

Suburban Cook County has seen seven days of positivity increases and nine days of hospital admission increases. The region's positivity rate increased to 8.6%. Currently, 23% of medical/surgical beds are available and 28% of ICU beds. The region (Region 10) currently is in tier one of the state's additional mitigation restrictions.

Also, Thursday, Region 6, which includes Champaign County, hit three days at or above 8% positive, and it will have tier one mitigations placed on it, effective Monday.

To see how other regions across the state are doing, see the full IDPH dashboard here.

Newly reported deaths include:

• Adams County: 1 male 90s

• Carroll County: 1 female 80s

• Christian County: 1 male 50s

• Cook County: 1 male 40s, 1 female 50s, 1 male 50s, 1 female 70s, 1 female 80s, 1 female 90s

• DuPage County: 1 male 60s, 1 female 70s

• Fulton County: 1 male 70s

• Greene County: 2 females 90s

• La Salle County: 1 female 80s, 1 female 90s

• Livingston County: 1 male 60s

• Macon County: 1 female 70s

• Madison County: 1 male 70s

• McDonough County: 1 male 60s

• Morgan County: 1 male 80s

• Peoria County: 1 female 90s

• Piatt County: 1 female 90s

• Saline County: 1 female 70s, 1 female 90s

• St. Clair County: 1 male 70s

• Tazewell County: 1 male 60s

• Wayne County: 1 female 80s, 1 male 80s

• White County: 1 male 80s

• Will County: 2 males 70s, 1 female 80s, 2 females 90s

• Winnebago County: 1 female 70s

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