URBANA, Ill. (WCIA)– The number of COVID-19 patients in Illinois hospitals doubled over the last two weeks.
1,205 people were in the hospital as of Wednesday, according to the latest update on the Illinois Department of Public Health’s website. That’s the highest number of people on record since our Target 3 Investigative Team began tracking this statistic early this summer.
We started tracking our own data, using daily updates from IDPH on June 11, the day the state fully reopened under Phase 5 of Governor J.B. Pritzker’s Restore Illinois plan.
On June 11, 707 people were in hospitals across the state. Then, we hit a low point on July 4th with 380 cases, but from there, things started moving in the opposite direction. By July 20, 572 were hospitalized.
Now, two weeks later, that number has more than doubled and the line gets steeper in August.
The Delta variant is to blame, according to Carle Health Chief Quality Officer Dr. Robert Healy.
“The Delta variant is scary. It’s hitting us locally, just like it is statewide and nationally,” the internal medicine physician added.
Dr. Healy said the trend is clearly reflected where he works at Carle Hospital in Urbana. There were 50 more patients as of Monday than there were a month ago.
23 patients were admitted with COVID-19 on July 1, according to Healy. As of Monday, that number was 73, and in a week, Dr. Healy expects there will be close to 90 patients.
That would be just shy of the peak number of hospitalizations at Carle throughout the entire pandemic, which was about 100 patients. Dr. Healy said that number was recorded sometime in December 2020.
Carle’s Intensive Care Unit saw a similar uptick. On July 1, there was one COVID-19 patient. By August 2, it the number jumped up to eight.
“To be honest, it’s frustrating when we know there’s a preventative measure out there that will allow us all to get through this pandemic quicker with less infections, with less potential to develop the next variant,” he shared.
Dr. Healy emphasized the vaccinations are the way to reverse the trend. He said fully vaccinated patients seem to get a less severe infection, and they don’t need as much lung support as those who are not unvaccinated.
The Carle physician said there are few reasons not to get vaccinated, and the great majority of COVID-19 patients at Carle are unvaccinated.