Illinois coronavirus: COVID-19 measurements lowest since November
Illinois coronavirus: COVID-19 measurements lowest since November

Illinois coronavirus: COVID-19 measurements lowest since November

SPRINGFIELD – Illinois residents are being infected, hospitalized and dying of COVID-19 at levels not seen since last fall.

Just eight deaths were reported by the Illinois Department of Public Health on Monday, the state’s lowest daily death toll since late November.

Cases were also at their lowest point in nearly three months with 2,734 reported.

“We are leaving the Omicron rise, and we should be happy with that,” said Dr. Jeffrey Kopin, Chief Physician of Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital. “There’s still a lot of COVID around. It’s not going away. But we’re definitely a much better place today.”

Hospitals across the state, many of which had few intensive care units left to treat patients just weeks ago, reported their lowest occupancy rates since before Thanksgiving.

People are watching the Chicago Thanksgiving Parade along South State Street in November.
Pat Nabong / Sun-Times fil

There were only 364 ICU beds occupied throughout the state Saturday night, the lowest level since November 21st. Hospital admissions were also at their lowest level since late November, with only 1,811 beds filled by those with COVID-19.

It is important to note a lower number of cases, and deaths are often reported after a weekend, “especially after a holiday weekend,” said IDPH spokeswoman Melaney Arnold.

State government offices were closed Friday on the occasion of Abraham Lincoln’s birthday.

However, weekends generally do not affect the reporting of admissions and ICU data.

Healthcare professionals are putting on new personal protective equipment while patients rest nearby in the hallway, as no rooms were open in the emergency department at Roseland Community Hospital on Far South Side last month.

Healthcare professionals are putting on new personal protective equipment while patients rest nearby in the hallway, as no rooms were open in the emergency department at Roseland Community Hospital on Far South Side last month.
Ashlee Rezin / Sun-Times fil

The continued downward slope following the largest increase in COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began prompted Governor JB Pritzker to announce the end of the indoor mask mandate on Wednesday, Feb. 28. Masks will still be required in hospitals, nursing homes, schools and on mass transportation.

But not all Illinois hospitals are experiencing the same level of relief from the Omicron rise.

In the southern tip of the state, ICU beds were 93% full Sunday night, with only five open to an area serving more than 400,000 residents.

The area has some of the lowest vaccination rates in the state. Only 22.8% of Alexander County residents have been fully vaccinated. In Pulaski and Massac counties, only 35.3% and 37.9% of the population are fully vaccinated, respectively.

Visit chicago.gov/covidvax or call (312) 746-4835.

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