coronavirus illinois

COVID Cases, Hospitalizations Resume Spikes in Illinois and Indiana After Holiday Lull

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After a brief downturn in case numbers during the Thanksgiving holiday, the number of COVID cases in Illinois and Indiana are once again on an upward trend, continuing surges that began in late October.

That surge in new COVID diagnoses came following a long downward trend in numbers following the worst of the delta variant-driven uptick in cases during the summer.

On Nov. 24, Illinois hit its highest number of daily COVID cases since the absolute worst of the pandemic last fall, averaging 4,628 new cases per day over a seven-day period, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Following that date, new case numbers dipped quickly, likely due to the Thanksgiving holiday. On Nov. 27, just three days after hitting a new high, cases were below 4,000 new cases per day, but in the days since the number has gone right back up, rebounding to 4,442 new cases of coronavirus per day as of Wednesday.

According to IDPH data, cases in Illinois have risen by nearly 100% in the last month, even accounting for the brief dip around Thanksgiving. As of Nov. 1, the state was averaging 2,229 new cases per day, and as of Dec. 1, that number is now at 4,442, an increase of 99.3%.

Cases are rising in several Midwest states as temperatures cool and people head inside this winter, making the area the “current COVID hot spot,” according to Chicago’s top doctor.

The state of Illinois is far from alone in the Midwest in terms of rapid increases in cases. The state of Indiana has followed a similar pattern to that of Illinois, seeing a lull in cases in late October and then a rapid escalation of those numbers in the month of November.

As of Oct. 23, the state of Indiana was averaging 1,591 new cases of COVID per day, and as of Nov. 23, that number had skyrocketed to 3,248 per day, an increase of 104%, according to the Indiana State Department of Health.

Also like Illinois, Indiana saw a quick dip in cases around Thanksgiving, dropping to 2,675 cases per day, but that number has since rebounded back to 3,245 per day, and is showing signs of continued increase.

With the emergence of the new Omicron variant, the CDC is intensifying their previous around COVID booster shots, saying those over 18 years old should get one. Sandra Torres has more.

In addition to the rapid increases in cases, a dramatic increase in hospitalizations has been reported in both states. According to the latest IDPH data, Illinois reported 2,458 COVID hospitalizations as of Tuesday, the highest mark the state has seen since the worst throes of the pandemic last winter.

The increase in hospitalizations from the beginning to the end of November was virtually identical to that of the case numbers, increasing by 92.9% during that time, according to IDPH data.

The number of intensive care admissions also soared during the month of November, with 470 patients requiring ICU beds as of Nov. 30. That number represents an increase of 66.7% over the number of ICU patients on Nov. 1, and is continuing to climb.

Hospitalizations in Indiana bottomed out slightly later than they did in Illinois, hitting 1,209 total COVID patients as of Nov. 6, but the number is increasing at a dizzying pace there as well. As of Nov. 30, there were 2,244 COVID patients in Indiana hospitals, an increase of 85.6% over a span of just over three weeks.

More than a quarter of the state’s ICU beds are currently in use by COVID patients, with 20.7% of the state’s ICU beds currently available to patients.

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