WHEATON, IL — As public health officials warn Illinois is experiencing a "COVID storm," numbers of new coronavirus infections and hospitalizations continued to rise unabated in the second week of November.
In Kane and DuPage counties, Region 8 in the state's 11-region reopening plan, the positivity rate rose by 2.5 percentage points during the week ending Nov. 10 to reach 15.2 percentage points. The region's positivity rate has risen on 25 of the past 30 days.
The number of people admitted to the region's hospitals with what public health officials classify as "COVID-like illnesses" increased to by over 30 percent in a week rising from 46 to a rounded rolling average of 60 people a day. The number of new hospitalizations has increased on 23 of the past 30 days.
For the first time Friday, the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Illinois exceeded its spring peak. The news came as the recorded a record high number of new positive test results for the fourth day in a row. Positivity rates set records for each of the state's 11 COVID-19 resurgence mitigation regions.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker signaled this week a new statewide stay-at-home order is on the horizon unless the exponential growth in the virus can be curbed.
"If things don't take a turn in the coming days," Pritzker said Thursday, "we will quickly reach the point where some form of a mandatory stay-at-home order will be all that is left."
Meanwhile, the Illinois Department of Public Health and local health Chicago and the suburbs have issued advisories urging the public to avoid nonessential gatherings or activities with those outside their immediate households, but they are non-binding.
Public health officials Friday said only six of the state's 102 counties have not yet reached the orange "warning" level for increased coronavirus risk: Champaign, Menard, Montgomery, Pope, Stark and Union counties.
According to coronavirus positivity and hospitalization metrics established in the governor's Restore Illinois regional reopening plan, the entire state qualifies for increased restrictions every two weeks.
Yet no region has shifted to "Tier 3" and its increased restrictions on nonessential businesses and services, and several regions with COVID-19 statistics that could have triggered "Tier 2" restrictions have not seen them.
When asked Friday whether the Restore Illinois thresholds for shifting between "tiered mitigation measures" had shifted, Illinois Department of Public Health spokesperson Melaney Arnold did not answer.
"This pandemic is ever changing and we continue to monitor and assess the data," she said. "More information will be available in the coming days."
On Friday, state public health officials announced 15,415 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, as well as the deaths of 27 more Illinoisans. During the prior 24 hours, labs in the state processed more than 106,500 specimens, up from about 98,000 daily tests a week earlier.
For the week of Nov. 6 to Nov. 12, the preliminary statewide case positivity rate was 13.2 percent. During the same period, the test positivity rate — calculated as the number of COVID-19 positive tests over total tests completed — rose to 14.5 percent statewide, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.
As of late Thursday night, there were 5,362 people in Illinois reported to be hospitalized with COVID-19 — up from 4,090 a week earlier and 3,092 two weeks ago. Statewide, hospitalizations are up by 179 percent since Oct. 1.
"More Illinoisans are in the hospital battling COVID-19 now than we saw during our highest average in the spring," Pritzker said Friday.
Of coronavirus patients in Illinois hospitals, 990 people were the state's intensive care units, up from 786 the prior week and 673 two weeks ago, according to the department. There were also 488 people in the state's hospitals on invasive ventilators, up from 339 a week earlier.
"We are seeing capacity decrease everywhere. Because when you get this many cases that translates into a certain amount of hospitalizations," IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said.
"Everyone is heading in the wrong direction and so everyone is trying to make plans to brace for that and offer the care, not just for the COVID patients, but if someone has a heart attack tomorrow that person is also going to want to have a bed in a hospital."
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Data through Tuesday was released Friday. Find the latest metrics from all regions below:
Region 1 (Rockford EMS region)
19.4 percent positivity on Nov. 10, up from 15.8 percent a week earlier
28 new hospitalizations of patients with "COVID-like illnesses," on average, every day, up from 24 in a week and 14 two weeks prior
28 percent of surgical beds and 34 percent of ICU beds are available, on average, compared to 32 percent of surgical beds and 38 percent of ICU beds a week earlier
Region 2 (Peoria EMS region)
15.6 percent coronavirus positivity rate on Nov. 10, up from 10.7 percent a week earlier
37 new daily hospital admissions of people with COVID-19 symptoms, up from 28 the prior week.
33 percent of both surgical beds and 31 percent of ICU beds are available, according to the region's three-day rolling average, compared to 36 percent of surgical beds and 36 percent of ICU beds the prior week
Region 3 (Springfield EMS region)
16.4 percent coronavirus positivity rate on Nov. 10, up from 11.4 percent a week earlier
22 new daily hospital admissions, up from 14 people a day the prior week
27 percent of surgical beds and 24 percent of ICU beds are available, compared to 33 percent of surgical beds and 30 percent of ICU beds last week
Region 4 (Edwardsville EMS region)
14.8 percent coronavirus positivity rate on Nov. 10, up from 10.7 percent a week earlier
Eight new daily hospital admissions with COVID-19 symptoms, the same number as the week before
23 percent of surgical beds and 35 percent of ICU beds are available, compared to 30 percent of surgical beds and 39 percent of ICU beds the prior week
Region 5 (Marion EMS region)
12.8 percent coronavirus positivity rate on Nov. 10, up from 10.6 percent a week earlier
13 people newly hospitalized to hospitals in the region with CLI, up from 11 the prior week
45 percent of surgical beds and 46 percent of ICU beds are available, on average, compared to 48 percent of both surgical beds and ICU beds last week
Region 6 (Champaign EMS region)
13 percent coronavirus positivity rate on Nov. 10, when the University of Illinois' comprehensive saliva testing program is excluded, compared to 10.2 percent a week earlier. When the UIUC tests are included, the positivity rate is 5.2 percent
28 new daily hospital admissions with coronavirus symptoms, up from 22 a week earlier
30 percent of surgical beds and 31 percent of ICU beds are available, compared to 32 percent of surgical beds and 42 percent of ICU beds a week earlier
Region 7 (Will, Kankakee counties)
18.6 percent coronavirus positivity rate on Nov. 10, up from 14.2 percent the prior week and 10.5 percent two weeks earlier
42 people a day were being admitted to the region's hospitals with COVID-19 symptoms, on average, up from 26 a week earlier — an increase of more than 60 percent in seven days
16 percent of surgical beds and 15 percent of ICU beds are available are hospitals in the region, on average, down from 23 percent of surgical beds and 28 percent of ICU beds a week earlier. It is the only region below the 20-percent failsafe threshold included in the Restore Illinois reopening plan
Region 8 (Kane, DuPage counties)
15.2 percent coronavirus positivity rate on Nov. 10, up from 12.7 percent a week earlier
60 people a day were being hospitalized with coronavirus symptoms in the region, on average, up from 46 a week earlier
21 percent of surgical beds and 32 percent of ICU beds remain available, compared to 23 percent of surgical beds and 37 percent of ICU beds a week earlier
Region 9 (Lake, McHenry counties)
15.8 percent coronavirus positivity rate on Nov. 10, up from 11.6 percent the prior week
31 people newly admitted to hospitals with coronavirus systems every day, on average — up from 19 a week earlier
26 percent of surgical beds and 41 percent of ICU beds were available, compared to 30 percent of surgical beds and the same ICU bed availability
Region 10 (Suburban Cook County)
14.4 percent coronavirus positivity rate on Nov. 10, up from 11.3 percent in a week and 8.6 percent two weeks prior, rising in each of the prior 10 days
106 people a day, on average, were admitted to hospitals with COVID-19 symptoms, up from 81 a week earlier and 59 two weeks ago — an increase of nearly 80 percent in 14 days
20 percent of surgical beds and 26 percent of ICU beds were available in the region's hospitals, the same surgical bed availability and 1 percentage point less average ICU bed availability than the prior week
Region 11 (Chicago)
14.4 percent positivity rate on Nov. 10, up from 11 percent a week earlier and 8.4 percent two weeks ago. It has risen in 28 of the past 30 days.
102 people a day, on average, were admitted to hospitals in the city with coronavirus symptoms, up from 73 the prior week and twice its rate from two weeks ago
21 percent of surgical beds were available and 27 percent of ICU beds remained available, on average, compared to 23 percent of surgical beds and 26 percent of ICU beds a week earlier