Illinois records highest COVID-19 death count since May
The graph shows the number of new confirmed COVID-19 cases reported each day by the Illinois Department of Public Health. (Credit: Jerry Nowicki of Capitol News Illinois)
IDPH reports 12,657 new cases; 145 deaths in a single day
By PETER HANCOCK
Capitol News Illinois
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Public Health reported Wednesday that 145 people in the state had died of COVID-19 over the previous 24 hours, the highest single-day death toll since the peak of the first wave of the pandemic in May, while overall hospital usage in the state reached its highest level.
Those numbers were released one day after Illinois legislative leaders announced the cancellation of the fall veto session due to public health concerns amid the worsening pandemic. The session had been scheduled to begin Tuesday, Nov. 17.
IDPH also reported 12,657 new cases of the disease had been confirmed since Tuesday out of 93,464 tests performed, for a single-day statewide positivity rate of 13.5 percent. The preliminary rolling seven-day average positivity rate stood at 12.5 percent.
As of late Tuesday night, 5,042 people were reported hospitalized with COVID-19 in Illinois, a 6-percent increase over the previous day’s total and the largest number of hospitalizations due to the disease since April 28. Total hospital bed usage, including non-COVID patients, stood at 25,536, the highest at any point during the pandemic, leaving only 27 percent of the state’s total hospital capacity available.
Of those hospitalized, 951 were in intensive care units, accounting for a quarter of of all staffed ICU beds in the state, while 404 of those patients were on ventilators.
Hospital bed utilization was most severe in Region 7, which includes Will and Kankakee counties, and Region 10, suburban Cook County, where only 21 percent of beds were available.
Meanwhile, Region 1, in northwest Illinois, continued to post the state’s highest test positivity rate. The seven-day rolling average rate there stood at 18.3 percent as of Nov. 8, the most recent data available. Region 7 stood at 17.7 percent while the other regions ranged from 11.8 percent in southern Illinois to 14.7 percent in Region 8, which is Kane and DuPage counties.
Capitol News Illinois is a nonprofit, nonpartisan news service covering state government and distributed to more than 400 newspapers statewide. It is funded primarily by the Illinois Press Foundation and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation.