Pritzker expanding vaccine clinics, testing sites as omicron cases skyrocket


As hospitalizations in Illinois reach record high levels, Governor Pritzker provided an update on the current omicron surge, promising additional resources with the new year underway.

“Unfortunately, we are reaching all-time record cases and surging hospitalizations, so we must approach this first several weeks of January with a good deal of caution,” Pritzker said Monday.

The Illinois Governor adds that he is expanding state-run vaccination clinics and testing sites.

“Starting [Monday], our free community-based testing sites have expanded to six days a week,” Pritzker said.

As hospitals are reaching capacity limits, the Governor also urged area hospitals to suspend elective surgeries once again.

“Very early on in the pandemic, we had to move very quickly to make sure hospital beds were available and so we just had an across-the-board temporary suspension of elective surgeries,” Pritzker said. “Now what we’re doing is getting the hospitals to make the decisions themselves and they’re doing it.”

Several Chicago area hospital leaders joined the Governor to explain what they’re doing to help manage the current crisis. NorthShore University Health System announced its pausing certain procedures starting Monday.

“First, we are dedicating teams of facilities like Glenbrook Hospital, exclusively to COVID care in order to rapidly and efficiently address patient demand,” Gabrielle Cummings, President Highland Park Hospital, said. “To ensure we have capacity with acute clinical needs, we have suspended all non-emergent elective procedures from Jan. 3 to Jan. 14.”

To help with the current spread, local leaders again urged people to stay home if they are sick, get vaccinated or boosted and continue to wear a mask.

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