SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – As COVID-19 cases rise, hospitalizations statewide have reached a 10-month-high.

The Illinois Department of Public Health reports as of Dec. 4, 1,505 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 in Illinois and 163 patients were in the ICU. Right now, 500 ICU beds are open statewide.

In a statement, officials said, “IDPH has been working for the last few months with our healthcare partners across the state to raise awareness about the potential for a fall surge of respiratory viruses, including COVID-19 and a resurgence of the flu, which had receded in the last two winters due to the pandemic restrictions that were in place.”

OSF Sacred Heart Medical Center in Danville is taking steps to stop the spread.

“Some of the nursing managers have, let me know that they’re trying to limit once again, the number of people per room or visitors to two,” Dr. Joseph Calvo, a doctor in the emergency department at OSF Sacred Heart Medical Center, said. “In some cases, these rules are relaxed, based on the need of the patient.” 

The hospital is also limiting who can visit their hospital to people 18 and up, and advising anyone with flu-like symptoms to stay away.

As they take these precautions, Calvo said he doesn’t expect the rise in cases to add too much pressure on their facility.

“I think the transmission rates are going to be not as high,” Calvo said. “They’re gonna go high, but I just don’t foresee that transmission rates are going to be out of control, and have some sort of kind of stress on the system that we can’t handle.”

OSF is not the only hospital that has put visitor restrictions in place – HSHS St. John’s Hospital is limiting visitors to two per patient for most departments and all visitors have to be 18 or older unless they’re a parent to a child in the hospital.

Last month, Memorial Health announced it put temporary visitor restrictions on all its locations to prevent the spread of COVID-19, RSV and the flu.