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Coronavirus

IDPH Director Dr. Ezike: 'I'm desperate to find a message that will work' to fight COVID-19

COVID-19 hospitalizations in Illinois near 2,500 as state announces 3,874 new cases

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The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 3,874 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 31 additional deaths Friday while exhausted state officials pleaded with Illinois residents to do what they could to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Statewide, the seven-day rolling average of Illinois’ positivity rate decreased to 5.6%. The state received the results of 82,256 COVID-19 tests in the 24 hours leading up to Friday afternoon, the second highest number of tests done by the state in a single day during the pandemic.

Illinois now has seen 364,033 total cases of the virus, and 9,418 people have died. The state has conducted a total of 7,113,338 tests since the start of the pandemic.

As of late Thursday, Illinois had 2,498 COVID-19 patients in the hospital, the most since June 8. Of those, 511 were in intensive care units, and 197 were on ventilators.

At a Friday news conference, an emotional IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike pleaded with the state's residents to follow public health guidelines, needing to pause part of the way through her opening statement that mentioned that Friday's deaths wouldn't be with their families for the holidays.

She implored poeple to fight the fatigue of the pandemic and wear a mask or face covering.

"I'm desperate to find a message that will work," Ezike said. "The virus has caused this and instead of pinning one group against another, we need to get that and fight against the virus. We have a mask and we're asking people to use that and I don't know what else to say."

Gov. JB Pritzker also addressed businesses that have chosen to stay open despite mitigations closing down indoor dining in several regions.

"I understand how difficult it is, I do," he said. "Many small businesses have their entire livelihoods at risk and the potential for the closure of their business permanently as a result of this virus.

"We're fighting to get these resources to small businesses in Illinois. And I'll continue that fight."

Regional update: Additional restrictions can be placed on any of the state's 11 health regions if the region sustains an increase in its average positivity rate for seven days out of a 10-day period.

A region may also become more restrictive if there is a seven-day increase in hospital admissions for COVID-19-related illness or a reduction in hospital medical/surgical beds or ICU capacity below 20%. If a region reports three consecutive days with greater than an 8% average positivity rate, additional infection mitigation will be considered through a tiered system of restriction guidelines offered by the IDPH.

The North Suburban region (McHenry and Lake counties) has seen eight days of positivity increases – meeting one criteria for stricter mitigation measures – and four days of hospital admission increases. The region's positivity rate decreased to 7.7%. Currently, 34% of medical/surgical beds are available and 47% of ICU beds.

Regional data from IDPH remains on a three-day lag, but within this region, McHenry County's seven-day positivity rate average decreased to 12.4%. Lake County, which does about two-thirds of the testing in the region, is reporting a rolling average of 6.2%.

The West Suburban region (DuPage and Kane counties) has seen nine days of positivity increases and six days of hospital admission increases. The region's positivity rate stayed flat at 9.4%, well above the state's threshold of 8%, but ending a 15-day streak of positivity increases. Currently, 25% of medical/surgical beds are available and 41% of ICU beds.

Within this region, Kane County's seven-day rolling positivity average is now 11.9%. It was 7.0% on Oct. 9.

The South Suburban region (Will and Kankakee counties) has seen 10 days of positivity increases and five days of hospital admission increases. The region's positivity rate increased to 9.2%. Currently, 24% of the region's medical/surgical beds are available and 25% of ICU beds.

Both the West and South Suburban regions are subject to stricter COVID-19 mitigations from the IDPH that began Friday, meaning indoor dining and bar service will be prohibited. The two regions joined region 5 in the IDPH's tier one mitigation measures.

The North region (Boone, Carroll, DeKalb, Jo Daviess, Lee, Ogle, Stephenson, Whiteside and Winnebago counties) has seen seven days of positivity increases and four days of hospital admission increases. The region's positivity rate decreased slightly to 11.7%, still the highest rate of any of the state's 11 regions. Currently, 36% of medical/surgical beds are available and 41% of ICU beds.

The North region (Region 1) is under additional COVID-19 mitigation measures from the IDPH as of Saturday, Oct. 3, and added stricter mitigations, beginning Sunday. To return to the standard Phase 4 restrictions, the region will need to maintain an average positivity rate of less than or equal to 6.5% over a 14-day period.

The region's counties that are reporting the highest positivity rates are Boone (14.1%), Winnebago (13%), and Whiteside (11.6%).

DeKalb County's positivity rate decreased from 9.3% to 9.2%.

The North-Central region (Bureau, Fulton, Grundy, Henderson, Henry, Kendall, Knox, La Salle, Livingston, Marshall, McDonough, McLean, Mercer, Peoria, Putnam, Rock Island, Stark, Tazewell, Warren and Woodford counties) has seen six days of positivity increases and three days of hospital admission increases. The region's positivity rate decreased to 7.0%. Currently, 38% of medical/surgical beds are available and 41% of ICU beds.

Chicago has seen eight days of positivity increases – meeting one criteria for stricter mitigation measures – and five days of hospital admission increases. The region's positivity rate stayed flat at 7%. Currently, 22% of medical/surgical beds are available and 31% of ICU beds.

Suburban Cook County has seen eight days of positivity increases – meeting one criteria for stricter mitigation measures – and six days of hospital admission increases. The region's positivity rate increased to 7.3%. Currently, 23% of medical/surgical beds are available and 29% of ICU beds.

To see how other regions across the state are doing, see the full IDPH dashboard here.

Newly reported deaths include:

• Adams County: 1 female 70s

• Christian County: 1 male 40s, 1 female 80s

• Clark County: 1 female 80s

• Clinton County: 1 male 90s

• Cook County: 1 male 30s, 1 female 90s

• DeWitt County: 1 female 70s

• Jefferson County: 1 male 60s

• Kane County: 1 female 70s

• Kankakee County: 1 male 60s

• Lake County: 1 female 70s

• La Salle County: 2 females 90s

• Macon County: 1 male 70s, 1 male 80s

• Madison County: 1 female 80s

• McLean County: 1 female 80s, 1 male 80s, 1 female 90s

• Rock Island County: 1 male 90s

• Sangamon County: 1 male 70s

• Shelby County: 1 female 70s

• St. Clair County: 1 male 80s

• Tazewell County: 1 male 80s

• Vermilion County: 2 males 70s

• Warren County: 1 male 90s

• White County: 1 male 70s, 1 male 90s

• Will County: 1 female 70s

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