Statewide COVID-19 ICU bed usage jumps 15 percent overnight
The graph shows the number of intensive care unit beds in use by COVID-19 patients, non-COVID patients and the availability rate of beds throughout the pandemic. (Credit: Jerry Nowicki of Capitol News Illinois)
Seven-day average positivity rate matches peak of previous April wave
By JERRY NOWICKI
Capitol News Illinois
SPRINGFIELD – Hospitalizations for COVID-19 jumped by more than 13 percent from Sunday to Monday night while intensive care bed usage jumped 15 percent as the delta variant of the virus continued to cause a surge nationwide.
According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, 1,107 individuals with COVID-19-like illness were hospitalized as of Monday night, an increase of 130 from the night before. ICU bed usage for COVID-19 jumped to 243 from 212, and ventilators jumped 18 percent, to 103 from 84.
While those numbers were below previous spikes in disease spread, they represented a rapid increase from recent pandemic lows.
Ventilators were up nearly 4 times from the 28 in use by COVID-19 patients as of a July 15 pandemic low. Hospitalizations were three times more than their July 4 pandemic low of 380, while ICU bed usage increased by three times since that date as well.
The one-day hospitalization totals were the highest they’ve been since late May and early June.
According to IDPH, about only 2.4 percent of the COVID-19 deaths since January have occurred in vaccinated individuals. IDPH’s weekly report showed 169 COVID-19-related deaths in people who had received the vaccine since January while 644 vaccinated individuals have been hospitalized at some point this calendar year.
Capitol News Illinois reached out to the Illinois Department of Public Health as to what percentage of individuals who had contracted, been hospitalized or died of COVID-19 were unvaccinated during the June and July surge, but did not receive a response as of this publication.
WCIA-TV Champaign’s Mark Maxwell reported last week that IDPH said 87 percent of the June COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations were in unvaccinated individuals, along with 92 percent of COVID-19-related deaths.
Approximately 51 percent of the state’s population is fully vaccinated, or about 6.5 million people. The vaccination pace has accelerated amid the surge, with 28,250 vaccine doses administered daily on average over the past seven days. That’s up from a pace of 16,423 on July 9, but down from a pace of more than 130,000 in April.
Over the past week, 44 individuals testing positive for COVID-19 were reported to have died by IDPH, bringing the state’s death toll to 23,458, with another 2,482 probable COVID-19 deaths reported.
For southern Illinois’ Region 5 of the state’s mitigation plan, there were 15 of 85 ICU beds that were unoccupied as of Monday night, or 18 percent of the total supply in the region. There were 28 unoccupied ICU beds out of 108 in Region 4, the Metro East area on the Missouri border, or 26 percent of the total supply.
But it wasn’t just southern Illinois that had scarcities, as Region 1, in the northwest corner of the state, had 18 percent of ICU beds, or just 32 of 181, available.
The state’s rolling seven-day average case positivity rate increased to 4.4 percent, matching the mid-April peak of the most recent virus surge. Since June 2020, the highest positivity rate recorded was 13.2 percent, logged in November.
The state reported 2,682 new cases of COVID-19 Tuesday, a high since May 7.
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.