Pritzker: COVID-19 is now the third leading cause of death in Illinois

CHICAGO (WGEM/WREX) — During his daily COVID-19 press briefing on Wednesday, Gov. Pritzker reported that COVID-19 was now the third leading cause of death in Illinois behind heart disease and cancer.

Gov. Pritzker said that COVID-19 deaths had surpassed those from strokes, accidents, chronic lower respiratory diseases, Alzheimer disease, Diabetes, Kidney disease, and Influenza and Pneumonia.

The governor added 11,014 Illinoisans had lost their lives to COVID-19 since the pandemic began. 1,000 of those, he said, have died in the last two weeks.

In August, Illinois was averaging 14 deaths per day related to the virus. Now, the state is averaging 83 COVID-19 related deaths per day, according to Gov. Pritzker.

"Models project that without additional mitigations, daily COVID-19 deaths would at least match the previous spring wave and could even rise up to 4 to 5 times that level — a risk that grows as hospitals become increasingly filled by more patients and as more of our heroic health care workers get sick, leading to staffing shortages," said Gov. Pritzker.

The state also reported 8,922 new confirmed and probable cases of the virus on Wednesday. Currently, the Illinois Department of Public Health is reporting 606,771 cases of the virus.

One out of every 4 beds in the hospital in the state is being used by a COVID-19 patient, according to Dr. Ngozi Ezike, the Director of IDPH. As of last night, 5,953 in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19.  Of those, 1,146 patients were in the ICU and 547 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators. 

The governor says the state is continuing to see an increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations.

"The last two days, I’ve showed you the severity of the situation in our hospitals, which currently are averaging 5,561 patients in the hospital battling COVID-19, 739 more than the highest average we ever saw last spring," said Gov. Pritzker.

Dr. Ezike addressed the notion that the virus is a hoax, saying the virus is very real.

"I still hear people saying that COVID-19 isn’t real, that it’s just another cold or a conspiracy. The bottom line is COVID-19 is real and it is worse than a typical cold. This ‘not real’ virus is overwhelming our hospitals," said Dr. Ezike.

The post Pritzker: COVID-19 is now the third leading cause of death in Illinois appeared first on WGEM.

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via WGEM

November 18, 2020 at 04:31PM

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