Pritzker: Illinois is “bending the curve” of COVID-19

Local News

CHICAGO, Ill. (WCIA) — Illinois is “in fact, bending the curve” of COVID-19 cases, Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Tuesday, adding that the state’s coronavirus doubling rate indicates “a clear demonstration of a deceleration of virus transmission.”

The doubling rate is the rate of the number of days it takes for COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, or deaths to double, a key metric in determining any flattening of the curve.

A shorter doubling rate correlates with faster rates of growth.

On March 22, Illinois had a case doubling rate of just over two days, 2.02. And on April 1, the doubling rate was 3.61 days. By April 12, the COVID-19 doubling rate was at just over 8 days.

Pritzker urged people to continue following the executive order he signed nearly a month ago, saying the transmission rate “may go up again if we don’t adhere to the Stay-At-Home order.”

Earlier Tuesday, IDPH officials reported 1,222 new, confirmed cases of COVID-19, raising the state’s case total to 23,247. An additional 74 deaths were also reported; 868 people have now died from the coronavirus.

Also Tuesday, officials addressed the state’s hospital and ventilator capacity rates; the Illinois Department of Public Health said that data will now be posted on the department’s website and updated daily.

According to IDPH, 4,238 people with COVID-19 were hospitalized as of April 13; those that needed to be in an ICU totaled 1,189 with 796 requiring a ventilator. As of April 13, the state has a total of 30,134 hospital beds, with 2,987 of them ICU beds.

Nearly 1,000 of those ICU beds are already in use, putting the percentage of available ICU beds at 33 percent.

TOTAL HOSPITAL BEDS USAGE (STATEWIDE)AS OF APRIL 13AS OF APRIL 6
Total hospital beds30,13428,139
Open11,16511,993
In use by COVID patients4,2833,680
In use by non-COVID patients14,68612,466
Percent of hospital beds available37%43%
SOURCE: Illinois Department of Public Health
TOTAL ICU USAGE (STATEWIDE)AS OF APRIL 13AS OF APRIL 6
Total ICU beds2,9872,709
Open994949
In use by COVID patients1,1891,166
In use by non-COVID patients804594
Percent of ICU beds available33%35%
SOURCE: Illinois Department of Public Health

More than half of the state’s ventilators are available, officials said, with 1,742 of 3,140 not in use.

TOTAL VENTILATOR USAGE (STATEWIDE)AS OF APRIL 13AS OF APRIL 6
Total ventilators3,1402,791
Open1,7421,593
In use by COVID patients796821
In use by non-COVID patients602377
Percent of vents available55%57%

Data released by the Illinois State Comptroller on Tuesday indicates that in efforts to increase the state’s overall supply of available ventilators, officials have paid up to $65,000 per unit; responding to a reporter’s question on the topic, Pritzker said the high demand and short supply is “a market that every state has been thrown into.”

“A typical ventilator starts around $25,000, maybe $35-40,000,” he said. “…When we are paying more than that… it’s because the market has bid up the prices.”

According to the comptroller’s data, the state has paid $13 million to a vendor identified as Lolis David for 200 additional ventilators.

In total, costs incurred by the state’s effort to increase supplies of personal protective equipment total around $174 million as of Tuesday.

“This is going to be a very, very difficult financial, fiscal challenge for the state of Illinois,” Pritzker told a reporter when asked about rectifying the additional costs with the state’s budget, which has lost significant revenue in the wake of COVID-19. “We’ll be talking about that later this week.”

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