Vaccination pace increases; state prisons reopening for visits
The graph shows the seven-day weekly average, from Monday to Sunday since the state first began reporting the numbers, of hospital bed usage by COVID-19 patients. The graphs will be updated by Capitol News Illinois every Monday. (Credit: Jerry Nowicki of Capitol News Illinois)
Hospitalizations, positivity rate continue to rise
By JERRY NOWICKI
Capitol News Illinois
SPRINGFIELD – Over the past seven days, 132,188 doses of COVID-19 vaccine had been administered daily on average in Illinois as of Monday, an increase of more than 27,000 from the daily average one week ago.
That average was driven upward by a one-day record of 175,681 doses administered Friday, the third day in a row the record was broken.
Over 22 percent of the state’s population is now fully vaccinated, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health, as more than 7.2 million vaccine doses had been administered as of Monday.
All Illinoisans over the age of 16 may now be vaccinated, although Chicago vaccination sites are planning on expanding eligibility next week. More information about COVID-19 vaccines can be found at coronavirus.illinois.gov, or by calling 1-833-621-1284.
But as the vaccination effort ramps up, the virus positivity rate is increasing as well, and hospitalizations hit a high Sunday that has not been seen since Feb. 9.
There were 1,998 Illinoisans reported hospitalized for COVID-19 as of Sunday night, an increase of more than 160 from the day prior. Over the past seven days, from Monday to Sunday, there were 1,804 hospital beds in use by COVID-19 patients each day on average, a 24 percent increase from the one-week period prior.
Intensive care unit beds saw an 18 percent increase from the one-week period prior, with 377 beds in use on average from Monday to Sunday. At the end of Sunday, there were 418 ICU beds in use by COVID-19 patients, a high since Feb. 12. On a seven-day average, only about 24 percent of ICU beds remained open, according to IDPH.
Ventilator use was also increasing as of Sunday night, with 177 in use by COVID-19 patients. The 163 used on average from Monday to Sunday marked an increase of 23 percent from the week prior.
The rolling seven-day average case positivity rate ticked up to 4.4 percent Monday after remaining at about 4.2 percent for four straight days. It’s a 0.6 percentage point increase from one week ago and a 1.1 percentage point increase from two weeks ago.
The COVID-19 death toll has now reached 21,523, with 1.2 million cases confirmed out of more than 21 million tests conducted.
The Illinois Department of Corrections also announced Monday that they would be opening facilities to in-person visits for the first time since March 14 last year.
The East Moline Correctional Center opened to visits Monday, as the IDOC website reported there were three inmates and two staff members currently positive for the virus at the facility.
Across the prison system, 87 staff members and 31 inmates were reported as current positive COVID-19 cases as of Monday. Since the pandemic began, 4,365 staff had tested positive, along with 10,859 inmates.
Visitations for the rest of the state’s correctional centers will begin in the coming weeks.
On April 19, visits will open at Graham, Taylorville, Jacksonville, Dixon, Centralia and Stateville correctional centers; Stateville Northern Reception Center; Elgin Treatment Center; and Fox Valley, Crossroads and North Lawndale adult transition centers.
On April 26, Pinckneyville, Sheridan, Big Muddy River, Pontiac, Shawnee, Vienna, Hill, Lawrence, Illinois River, Robinson and Vandalia correctional centers will open for visits. So will Joliet Treatment Center, Peoria Adult Transition Center, and Kewanee and Murphysboro life skills re-entry centers.
On May 3, visits will reopen at Southwestern Illinois, Decatur, Logan, Lincoln, Western Illinois, Danville and Menard correctional centers.
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.