CHICAGO (WLS) — Illinois public health officials reported 32,279 new COVID cases and 80 related deaths Wednesday. That’s the largest one-day increase in new cases on record, which was previously 31,461 on Dec. 31, 2021.
There have been 2,295,445 total COVID cases, including 28,156 deaths in the state since the pandemic began.
The seven-day statewide test positivity rate is 18.4%, the highest figure reported since reporting began in Oct. 2020.
Within the past 24 hours, laboratories have reported testing 125,819 new specimens for a total of 45,305,412 since the pandemic began.
WATCH: Gov. JB Pritzker addresses surging COVID cases, hospitalizations
As of Tuesday night, 6,842 patients in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19. Of those, 1135 patients were in the ICU and 663 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators.
Gov. JB Pritzker is urging Illinois hospital leaders to delay elective surgeries and other non-emergency procedures to keep more beds open for another expected wave of COVID-19 patients as the state weathers its largest case surge of the pandemic.
Illinois Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said about 90% of the new hospital admissions are unvaccinated residents. About a quarter of eligible Illinoisans still haven’t gotten a shot.
Combined with a shortage of health care workers due to burnout after nearly two years and five major resurgences, Ezike said hospitals are being pushed to the brink.
“We want to make sure that there is a hospital bed available for anyone for any reason – cancer complications, appendicitis, stroke, heart attack, car crash, or COVID-19,” she said. “Please get vaccinated and get boosted, for all of us.”
While Omicron is causing more breakthrough cases, experts say all COVID-19 vaccines protect against severe cases that result in hospitalization or death.
“Hospitals cannot end this pandemic on their own. They need the continuing help and support of the public,” Illinois Health and Hospital Association CEO A.J. Wilhelmi said. “The best way to support your hospitals is to get vaccinated.”
A total of 19,417,187 vaccine doses have been administered in Illinois as of Wednesday, and 60.78% of the state’s population is fully vaccinated. The seven-day rolling average of vaccines administered daily is 45,297.
The Sun-Times Media report contributed to this post.
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January 5, 2022 at 01:24PM