For the second day in a row, one of Illinois health care regions has no intensive care unit beds available amid an increase in COVID cases and hospitalizations.
According to the latest figures from the Illinois Department of Public Health, Region 5, made up of 20 counties in the southern tip of the state, had none of its 87 intensive care beds available for admission as of Wednesday.
The region has seen its ICU bed availability remain below 10% for more than a month, and hospitalizations have remained high even after a steady uptrend in those numbers began to level off in early September.
Prior to that, hospitalizations had increased dramatically in August, peaking at 164 on September 1. On Tuesday, that number dropped slightly to 159, but remains well above what it was during the drop in hospitalizations that occurred. after the COVID vaccine became more widely available in the spring.
The region’s positivity rate has also remained persistently high, exceeding 10% since mid-August. The number remains the highest in the state, standing at 10.2% on Sunday.
The availability of intensive care beds has been a problem statewide during a recent increase in COVID cases, with the state’s 11 health care regions recording less than 25% availability of intensive care beds .
Overall, 537 COVID patients are currently in intensive care units across the state, occupying about 17.2% of the state’s intensive care beds, according to data from the IDPH. Of these patients, 305 are currently on ventilators.
Overall, hospitalizations are on a downward trajectory, with 2,229 patients currently hospitalized due to COVID in the state. This is a drop of more than 100 from the 2,333 hospitalized on September 6, indicating that hospitalizations could level off amid the pandemic.