Chicago Coronavirus

Chicago Sees Hospital Bed Shortage as Cases Increase, Metrics Show

NBCUniversal Media, LLC

Chicago is seeing a widespread shortage of both general hospital and intensive care unit beds, according to data released Friday from the Illinois Department of Public Health.

As of Friday, 16.7% of medical hospital beds were available in Chicago, with just 16% open in suburban Cook County, data showed. IDPH reported Friday that 13.3% of hospital beds were available in DuPage and Kane counties in Region 8, while 13.1% were open in Lake and McHenry counties.

The Chicago area's south-suburban Kankakee and Will counties have just enough hospital beds available to meet Illinois health officials' threshold, sitting at 20.1%. According to IDPH, hospitals should have at least 20% of beds available to new patients.

All five Chicago-area regions, plus the northwest Indiana region, have ICU bed availability above 20%, as of Friday.

In downstate Illinois, data showed regions are also finding a shortage of hospital beds with Region 4 sitting with just 16.8% of ICU beds available and 11.1% of general hospital beds in case of a medical resurgence. On Friday, Region 5 had just 14.2% of ICU beds available.

Here are other notable mentions from Friday's metrics:

  • After a drop in daily cases through most of November and December, Illinois has seen its average daily new caseload increase for the past ten days in a row.
  • On Dec. 29, the state reached a recent low point in average daily cases – which were reduced to an average of 5,243 cases per day. This metric marked a 59% percent reduction in the state’s daily case rate, which, as of Nov. 12, was 12,326 average new cases per day.
  • As of Friday, Illinois is averaging 6,676 new cases every day – more than 1,400 more, on average, than the recent low we hit on Dec. 29.
  • Friday's seven-day case positivity rate is down to 9.5%, the lowest it has been since a week ago, on New Year’s Day.
  • The counties with the highest seven-day case positivity rates include all five counties in northwest Indiana, as well as Washington and Hamilton Counties in southern Illinois.
  • Friday's marked a three-day low in new daily deaths at 126 new fatalities.
  • Among the individuals who died, nine people who were only in their 50s and four people who were only in their 40s.

Illinois health officials reported 9,277 confirmed and probable coronavirus cases, including 126 deaths Friday.

A total of 1,017,322 COVID-19 infections have been diagnosed across the state since March, the fifth highest total in the nation. More than 21 million cases have been diagnosed nationwide.

Friday's 126 additional deaths brings the state's total death toll to 17,395 fatalities since the pandemic began.

“As this disease continues to wreak havoc on our nation — with the United States setting another record for the most COVID-19 deaths in a day just yesterday — it is critical that we take extra caution today and in the months ahead to reduce the spread, bring down hospitalization rates, and save lives,” Gov. J.B. Pritzker said in a statement.

In all, 118,665 tests have been returned to state laboratories in the last 24 hours, a marked increase from the day before. The latest testing numbers brought the state total to 13,922,611 tests conducted throughout the pandemic.

The rolling seven-day statewide positivity rate for cases as a percent of tests rose to 8.5% as of Friday, according to IDPH. The positivity rate of all tests was 9.5%, a decrease from the day before.

As of Thursday night, 3,777 patients were in hospitals across the state for the coronavirus. Of those, 780 were receiving intensive care and 422 were on ventilators.

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