Governor Pritzker announced medical facility expansions as coronavirus cases in Illinois increased by 461 since Sunday, bringing the state’s total to over 5,000 cases and 73 deaths.
Pritzker, joined by Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, said Monday that the first phase of the McCormick Place field hospital will be completed this week. It will ultimately have 3,000 beds and be used for those minor symptoms who do not require advanced care.
“Based on science, data, and the guidance of health experts, our approach to fighting this virus is two-pronged: suppress the spread and increase hospital capacity to meet the need,” Pritzker said.
“A critical component of increasing our capacity is identifying and building out additional facilities across the state to support our existing hospitals and healthcare system. In partnership with the City of Chicago and the U.S. Army Corps we are planning to increase capacity, so we’re prepared to treat patients and save lives,” Pritzker added.
The state is also working to create temporary bed capacity at MetroSouth Hospital in Blue Island and at Advocate Sherman Hospital in Elgin.
Illinois Department of Public Health Director Ngozi Ezike emphasized that the number of cases and deaths will continue to increase, as she announced 461 new cases and eight new deaths on Monday.
The number of people testing positive for COVID-19 in Illinois is at 5,057, Ezike said. The number of people tested so far is at 30,446, data shows.
Pritzker said that personal protective equipment is being shipped out from the state’s stockpile to counties throughout the state.
Pritzker was asked during his Monday press conference for the recovery rates of those who contracted COVID-19. He said that state and local health officials are working to collect that data but noted that it is not easy to obtain.
Among the new deaths reported on Monday was an inmate at Stateville Correctional Center, Ezike said. 12 men who were incarcerated at Stateville are now hospitalized, including several requiring ventilators.
There are 77 more incarcerated individuals with symptoms who are isolated at the facility, Ezike said. Eleven staff are also being isolated.
Correctional centers with a confirmed case are placed on lockdown, which means there is no movement around the facility except for medical care, health officials said. Incarcerated individuals who show symptoms are being tested.
The majority of COVID-19 cases are in Cook County, followed by Lake and DuPage counties.