Illinois sees highest number of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations in nearly a year


Hospitals across Illinois are seeing increases in patients admitted with COVID-19.

Wednesday, 16,681 new cases of COVID-19 were reported in Illinois, the second highest number during the pandemic.

Sixty-six deaths were reported. Hospitalization were the highest since last December with 4,178.  There are 867 patients in the ICU, also the highest since December 2020. The ICUs have 11% of their beds open with 32% ICU patients having COVID-19.

In Kane and Will counties, 95% ICU beds occupied with only 6 of 133 ICU beds available. 

The numbers are putting a strain on staff that are already stretched thin.

Kevin Smith, the chief medical officer at Loyola in Chicago, says they have seen COVID-19 numbers building since Thanksgiving. New admissions of Covid-19 patients have increased significantly in the past week.

Hospital officials said those numbers leave zero room for error. Those covid patients are in addition to all of other patients coming into the emergency room with other illnesses or in for surgery.

Smith said it doesn’t help that they’ve seen a large number of people leave the healthcare workforce over the last year.

“You take that and you compound it with what seem like a large number of patients seeking care again, and then bubbling up again,” Smith said. “It’s creating a perfect storm with the capacity of beds as well as the strain on our workforce as well.”

Illinois Health and Hospital Association issued a statement that read:

Across Illinois, hospitals are experiencing a fifth surge of COVID-19 patients and are using lessons learned over the last two years to best care for those patients and expand capacity as needed.  Unvaccinated individuals continue to represent a vast majority of COVID-19 hospitalizations.  We are urging everyone to please get vaccinated as the vaccines, which have been proven safe and effective, remain the best protection against severe illness, hospitalization and death.

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