IL expanding COVID vaccination effort as virus metrics tick up

Illinois public health officials reported 3,002 new COVID-19 cases and 33 deaths Friday.

Video Transcript

ERIC HORNG: Across NorthShore University Health System, the number of COVID-related hospitalizations and ER visits has tripled in the last couple of weeks.

NEIL FREEDMAN: We were more hopeful a few weeks back when we saw the numbers going down. And now that we're seeing the numbers going up, it is somewhat demoralizing.

ERIC HORNG: Most of NorthShore's positive test results are among young adults. But most requiring care fall in the 40 to 60 age range, a group yet to be prioritized for vaccinations. Different than in the past, fewer patients are 65 and older, perhaps because more have been immunized.

NEIL FREEDMAN: Many people are letting their guard down. And I think there are either certain groups of people or family members who are gathering, some of who may be vaccinated, but many who are not.

ERIC HORNG: After weeks of declines, statewide hospitalizations are up more than 16% in the past week and a half. Before receiving his dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, the governor expressing concern.

JB PRITZKER: I've been to this movie before and seen the rising positivity rates.

ERIC HORNG: This after the governor, less than a week ago, set reopening guidelines, the mayor saying Chicago may have to pump the brakes.

LORI LIGHTFOOT: We're monitoring the uptick. We're not in a position, as a result of that, to really be talking about any more reopening issues, particularly when it comes to expanding capacity indoors.

ERIC HORNG: Illinois' reopening plan is dependent on statewide metrics. Individual regions won't be allowed to move forward on their own. But they can take a step back.