Although numbers are still far behind what the state saw during the delta variant-driven summer surge, COVID cases in Illinois are rapidly increasing, going up by more than 70% in the last three weeks alone.
According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, the state is averaging 3,560 new cases of COVID per day over the last week. That is 72% more than the 2,069 new cases that the state was seeing each day on Oct. 27, the low-point since the delta-driven surge.
While the recent increases in cases are causing some concerns among officials, the upticks are still not nearly what they were over the summer. As of Sept. 4, the state was seeing 4,440 new cases of COVID per day, the highest mark the state had seen since widespread inoculations against the coronavirus had begun.
Both numbers still pale in comparison to the dramatic surge in cases the state saw last fall. In fact, exactly one year ago on Nov. 16, 2020, the surge of COVID cases hit its peak level, with the state averaging 12,384 new cases of COVID per day.
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This year’s increase in cases through the latter half of the fall has been significantly smaller, but has continued to gain steam in recent weeks.
Hospitalizations are also beginning to creep upward in the state, with 1,627 patients currently hospitalized because of COVID in Illinois. That represents an increase of 36% since Oct. 24, but still remains well short of the 2,333 hospitalizations reported on Sept. 6, at the height of the delta-driven summer surge.
There are currently 325 COVID patients in intensive care unit beds across the state.
Even with those numbers on the rise, many health officials, including Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady, don’t anticipate any drastic new measures to try to curb cases.
“Unvaccinated Chicagoans of all ages are more likely to be hospitalized,” she conceded, “(but) I’m certainly not expecting to see the major lockdowns like we saw early on.”