* Press release…
The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) today reported 4,318 new confirmed and probable cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Illinois, including 33 additional deaths.
- Champaign County: 2 females 60s, 1 male 60s
- Clay County: 1 male 70s
- Cook County: 1 male 60s, 3 females 70s, 5 males 70s, 3 females 80s, 3 males 80s, 2 females 90s, 2 male 90s
- DuPage County: 2 females 80s
- Effingham County: 1 female 80s
- Marion County: 1 male 60s
- Montgomery County: 1 female 90s
- Peoria County: 2 females 90s
- Rock Island County: 1 male 70s
- Sangamon County: 1 female 70s
- Vermilion County: 1 male 60s
Currently, IDPH is reporting a total of 1,076,532 cases, including 18,291 deaths, in 102 counties in Illinois. The age of cases ranges from younger than one to older than 100 years. Within the past 24 hours, laboratories have reported 71,533 specimens for a total 14,898,528. As of last night, 3,335 in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19. Of those, 713 patients were in the ICU and 395 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators.
The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity for cases as a percent of total test from January 12–18, 2021 is 5.7%. The preliminary seven-day statewide test positivity from January 12–18, 2021 is 6.9%.
As of last night, 781,350 doses of vaccine were delivered to providers in Illinois, including Chicago. In addition, approximately 304,600 doses have been allocated to the federal government’s Pharmacy Partnership Program for long-term care facilities. This brings the total Illinois doses to 1,085,950. IDPH is currently reporting a total of 508,732 vaccines administered, including 69,976 for long-term care facilities. Yesterday, a total of 13,169 doses were administered. The 7-day rolling average of vaccines administered daily is 22,134 doses.
*All data are provisional and will change. In order to rapidly report COVID-19 information to the public, data are being reported in real-time. Information is constantly being entered into an electronic system and the number of cases and deaths can change as additional information is gathered. For health questions about COVID-19, call the hotline at 1-800-889-3931 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
With the state of Illinois launching multiple health care staffing contracts to increase hospital staffing, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is adjusting its mitigation metrics to reflect the additional staff. With the change, Regions 8, 9, 10, and 11 will move from the most restrictive Tier 3 to Tier 2. In addition, Region 1 and 6 have met the metrics to move to Tier 1, and Regions 3 and 5 have met the metrics to return to Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois Plan.
Hospital leaders and local health departments have communicated to IDPH that their primary capacity challenge is the need for additional staffing and stressed that state-facilitated staffing contracts will be critical in addressing this challenge. With this surge staffing program, IDPH and hospital leaders feel confident that metrics can safely move away from utilizing medical/surgical bed limits to move across mitigation tiers, allowing more regions to advance. The adjustment also recognizes the substantial progress the state has made since November 20, 2020 when Tier 3 mitigations were put in place.
“Hospital leaders have made clear the importance of staffing in their continued response to this pandemic and conveyed that staffing contracts will be extraordinarily valuable in their ability to meet the needs of their communities,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike. “We are pleased to see most of our regions move out of Tier 3 mitigations with this change, and it is critical that we maintain this progress. With new variants of COVID-19 spreading, it is more important than ever to follow the public health guidance that keeps people safe – wear your mask and watch your distance.”
To address capacity issues reported by Illinois hospitals, IDPH, in partnership with the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) and the Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS), has launched a surge staffing program. The program leverages the state’s larger contracting power to engage multiple staffing vendors and create access to a talent pool at greater scale than any individual hospital could achieve. Hospitals with rooms available to increase capacity but lacking the personnel to staff their beds may partner with the state to procure the staff they need. Hospitals that create orders will enter into a contract with the state to access this new staffing pool.
Hospital leaders have conveyed that due to the progress the state has made as well as the volatility in medical/surgical capacity this time of year, the state’s remaining metrics will appropriately monitor capacity and spread. While IDPH is working to allow regions greater flexibility in lifting the most stringent mitigations, public health officials will continue to carefully monitor hospital needs and test positivity in order to maintain the state’s progress.
This is particularly critical as new variants circulate. Early studies for the SARS-CoV-2 variant B.1.1.7, which was first identified in the United Kingdom, have shown the variant may spread more rapidly and easily than what we have seen previously. Experts are predicting another possible surge due to this new variant in the next several months. Because of this, it is vital for people to remain vigilant and continue to wear their masks, keep 6-feet of distance, avoid large gatherings, and get vaccinated when they are eligible.