Illinois officials on Monday reported approximately 6,300 people with COVID-19 in Illinois hospitals, which is the most recorded during the pandemic.
Governor JB Pritzker held a press conference Monday afternoon in Chicago to provide a COVID-19 update.
“I wish I had better news to deliver about progress against Omicron. Unfortunately, we are reaching all-time record numbers of cases and surging hospitalizations,” Pritzker said.
“The unvaccinated are the ones filling up 85% of our COVID-19 hospital beds and 95% of our ICU beds and nearly 100% of our ventilators,” Pritzker said.
“So getting vaccinated and boosted remains the best way for all of us to take care of ourselves and each other and alleviate the strain on our health care workers and hospitals,” he added.
Pritzker said that the hospital admissions are higher this winter than they were last winter before vaccines were widely available.
“In the pediatric wards, the number of Illinois children entering the hospital with COVID-19 has nearly tripled since the beginning of December. Across the state, we have regions where ICU bed availability — not just COVID ICU but staffed ICU beds for other emergencies like car crashes and heart attacks and strokes — are frightening limited in just the single digits,” Pritzker said.
State data shows 6,294 people with COVID-19 were in the hospital as of Sunday, which is a record high. 1,086 people with COVID-19 were in ICU beds as of Sunday.
Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said on Monday that an average of 550 people are admitted to hospitals in Illinois every day, of which 90% of those are not vaccinated.
“Because there are just so many people with COVID-19, our hospitals are still completely overwhelmed,” Ezike said.
On Thursday, Pritzker and hospital leaders issued a joint statement urging hospitals to pause non-emergency surgeries to maintain hospital capacity as COVID-19 cases surge.
Pritzker and the Illinois Health and Hospital Association said that they are urging hospitals to “take every possible measure” to maintain and expand bed capacity, including postponing non-emergency surgeries and other procedures as needed.
The state and hospitals throughout Illinois are continuing to work in concert to prevent the state’s healthcare infrastructure from being overwhelmed by the ongoing Omicron variant surge of COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations, the governor’s office said.