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Illinois Sees ‘Concerning Trends' in Hospitalizations Amid Coronavirus Uptick: Pritzker

Here is where each of the regions stand on hospitalization metrics

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Illinois continues to see "concerning trends" in hospitalization rates as coronavirus metrics climb, Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Wednesday.

In his daily coronavirus briefing, Pritzker said that regional hospitalization trends are moving in the wrong direction, particualrly in Region 7, which is showing less than 23% remaining intensive care unit bed capacity.

Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said the recent increase in hospitalizations and deaths is related to the spike in coronavirus cases over the last six weeks.

Though some regions have not been averaging above an 8% posivity rate for three consecutive days, many could still be at risk of additional mitigations due to rising hospitalizations.

According to health officials, any region that has sustained a 7-day increase in hospital admissions for COVID-19 like illnesses or a reduction of hospital capacity threatening surge capabilities could face additional mitigations.

Some of those mitigation strategies will include restrictions to higher risk settings like indoor bars and restaurants, which could be applied automatically if certain criteria are met, as well as changes in retail, fitness, salon and personal care settings.

Here is where the regions currently stand on hospitalizations:

Region 1 (Northwest Illinois)

According to the latest IDPH data, the region’s seven-day positivity rate stands at 11.6%, well above the 8% threshold that triggers coronavirus mitigation strategies.

The region has steadily risen in hospital admissions, with 41% surge availability and a 48% availability of ICU beds.

Region 2 (Northwest/Central Illinois)

Though not at the threshold to enhance mitigations, this region is currently sitting at 7.1% as of Oct. 18.

The region has had fairly steady hospital admissions with a slight uptick, currently having 42% surge availability and a 41% availability of ICU beds.

Region 3 (Western Illinois)

This region, which includes Springfield, remains dangerously close to the 8% threshold that would trigger the enhanced restrictions, currently sitting at 7.5%.

The region has had an upward trend in hospital admissions, with 33% surge availability and also 33% availability of ICU beds. The state will trigger restrictions if that number dips below 20%.

Region 4 (Southwestern Illinois)

This region, located next door to St. Louis, has already had enhanced coronavirus restrictions put into place this year, but could be heading back in that direction, as the region’s seven-day positivity rate now sits at 7.6%.

The region’s hospitalization numbers could merit watching, as 31% of the region’s hospital beds and 49% of ICU beds are available in the event of a surge in COVID-19 patients.

Region 5 (Southern Illinois)

This region will see enhanced coronavirus restrictions go into place on Thursday, but it has also seen a generally downward trend in the positivity rate in the last three days, currently sitting at 8.9%.

If those numbers continue to trend downward, then the region may only have to deal with the enhanced coronavirus mitigation procedures for the minimum two weeks.

The region has had an ongoing decrease in hospital admissions, with 47% surge availability and a 62% availability of ICU beds.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Department of Public Health director Dr. Ngozi Ezike announced Wednesday that the state has begun to formulate plans for the distribution and administration of a vaccine for the novel coronavirus when it becomes available in the future.

Region 6: (Central/Eastern Illinois)

When accounting for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's saliva test, this region has the best positivity rate in the state, sitting at just 2.5%. However, without the university, Region 6 currently sits at a 7.5% positivity rate, just .5% away from the threshold for additional mitigations.

The region is seeing a steady increase in hospital admissions, but still has 33% surge availability and a 45% availability of ICU beds.

Region 7 (Will, Kankakee Counties)

This region, which has already had to go through restrictions on one occasion this year, will soon see those mitigation rules put into place again, as indoor dining and bar service will be suspended on Friday.

The region’s positivity rate increased to 8.7% as of Oct. 18, marking the fourth straight day it has been over the 8% threshold.

The region is also seeing a steady increase in hospital admissions, with 27% surge availability and a 25% availability of ICU beds.

Region 8 (Kane, DuPage Counties)

This region will also see enhanced restrictions go into effect on Friday, as the positivity rate has increased to 9.2% as of Oct. 18.

The region has seen a slight increase in hospital admissions, with 33% surge availability and a 48% availability of ICU beds.

Region 9 (McHenry, Lake Counties)

This region's positivity rate sits close to the 8% threshold for further mitigations, currently at 7.7% as of Oct. 18.

Hospitalization rates are on the rise in Region 9, with 39% surge availability and a 51% availability of ICU beds.

Region 10 (Cook County outside of Chicago)

This region has one of the lower positivity rates in the state, but is still trending upward, going from 5.2% earlier this month to 7.2% as of Oct. 18.

Another statistic to monitor in that region is the hospital availability in the event of a surge in coronavirus cases, as that number sits at just 26% and 32% of ICU beds available.

Region 11 (Chicago):

Chicago has also seen its coronavirus positivity rates increase in recent weeks, but still remains within the guidelines to permit indoor dining, as the rate is at 7% as of Oct. 18.

The surge bed availability in the region is also nearing a level that could trigger mitigations, as it currently sits at 25% and 33% of ICU beds available, according to the IDPH.

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