A health care region in southern Illinois that covers 20 of the state’s 102 counties has zero intensive care units beds available as of Tuesday, posing a significant issue for a region that’s been hard hit by a surge in COVID cases.
According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, Region 5, located in the southern tip of the state, currently has zero of its 88 staffed intensive care units available.
The region has had fewer than 10% of its ICU beds available for at least the last month as COVID cases have surged in the region. The region’s test positivity rate of 10.3% is the highest of any region in the state, and its hospitalization numbers have remained consistently high in recent weeks, increasing on four of the last 10 days and remaining stable on five others.
In all, 161 COVID patients are currently hospitalized in Region 5, the highest number the region has seen in months.
Counties included in Region 5 are Alexander, Edwards, Franklin, Gallatin, Hamilton, Hardin, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Marion, Massac, Perry, Pope, Pulaski, Union, Wabash, Wayne, White and Williamson counties, according to IDPH.
ICU bed availability is not based solely on COVID patients, and is also dictated by individuals with other urgent health care needs, according to IDPH.
As of Tuesday, 547 COVID patients are currently in ICU beds in the state of Illinois, keeping the state at its highest level of ICU usage since late January.
A total of 2,263 patients are currently hospitalized due to COVID across the state, according to IDPH data.
Several other regions are also seeing a decreasing number of ICU beds. In Region 9, comprised of McHenry and Lake counties, 86% of ICU beds are currently occupied. In Region 1, located in northwest Illinois, 85% of ICU beds are currently in use. An identical percentage of ICU beds are in use in Region 2, located in west-central Illinois.