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Less than 10% of critical care beds available in Illinois as COVID hospitalizations hit record highs – NBC Chicago

Illinois hospitals and healthcare workers have said they are overwhelmed by the latest wave of COVID-19 as less than 10% of the state’s intensive care beds remain open, data from the health department.

The National Nurses United is expected to hold a rally Thursday in the Chicago Medical District, located at 1901 W. Harrison St., at 11 a.m. as part of a nationwide campaign demanding safe staff and better protection for nurses.

“As we enter the third year of the deadliest pandemic of our lives, nurses are furious that, for our government and our employers, everything depends on what is good for the business, not what is good for public health, ”said UN President Zenei Triunfo. Cortez in a statement.

According to the latest figures from the Illinois Department of Public Health, there are currently 7,219 hospital patients diagnosed with COVID-19 in the state. That’s just below the historic record for hospitalizations, which was set on Tuesday with 7,353 hospitalized patients, according to data from the IDPH.

Of those patients, 1,131 are currently in intensive care units, one of the highest numbers recorded during the pandemic. About 9% of the state’s intensive care beds are currently open, according to the latest data.

“We have never had so many COVID patients in hospital at any time during the pandemic, neither in the spring of 2020 nor in the winter of 2020. It is absolutely the highest number. Our previous totals have been overwritten, ”IDPH director Dr Ngozi Ezike said at a press conference on Wednesday.

There are currently signs the state could see a flattening of several key COVID parameters, including in terms of hospitalizations.

Over the past two weeks, the state has seen a slow decline in the number of new hospital admissions, with the seven-day average of inpatients slowly slowing its growth, according to data from the IDPH.

Since January 1, when the state saw a 4.75% increase in its seven-day average of hospitalizations for COVID, there has been a steady decline in that number, with the average increasing 0.76% on Wednesday. .

In addition, the number of critically ill patients has also largely stabilized, having remained around the plateau of 1,100 patients for nine consecutive days.

Yet Ezike and Illinois Governor JB Pritzker have announced a series of initiatives designed to provide relief to hospital staff amid the surge in COVID cases.

According to Pritzker, more than 900 workers have been sent to hospitals hard hit by COVID in recent weeks, with 552 more on their way this week.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is also sending workers to hospitals in Rockford, an area hard hit by COVID cases.

The state is also stepping up efforts to encourage individuals to receive booster shots of the COVID vaccine, saying the booster has been shown to be an effective tool in preventing patients from becoming dangerously ill from the omicron variant.

More than 80% of COVID patients in Illinois hospitals are completely unvaccinated, and more patients have not received a COVID booster despite their eligibility.

The unvaccinated are 11 times more likely to be hospitalized from COVID than residents who have been vaccinated, according to the IDPH.

According to data from the IDPH, only 0.08% of people vaccinated against COVID were hospitalized and an even smaller number died after contracting the disease.

Despite the slowdowns in some key measures, Illinois officials are urging residents to continue taking steps to keep themselves safe, including getting vaccinated or boosted, and to continue wearing masks in public places.

The state averages more than 32,500 new cases of COVID per day, the highest number it has recorded during the entire pandemic.

NBC Chicago

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