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Statewide hospitalizations, ventilator use at lowest point in over five weeks

Statewide hospitalizations, ventilator use at lowest point in over five weeks

Illinois’ hospital capacity, intensive care unit beds and ventilator availability are at their highest levels since the state began publishing the data over a month ago, state officials announced Tuesday.

There were 4,002 people hospitalized with COVID-19 symptoms as of Tuesday morning, said Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike. The previous reported low was 4,091 on April 12.

Thirty-three percent of the state’s 10,954 total hospital beds are available. Just over 25 percent of the state’s ICU beds are in use by COVID-19 symptoms, and 10.6 percent of the state’s 5,429 ventilators are in use by patients with symptoms.

“This just solidifies these measures have been working, both the stay-at-home, both the masking, both the social distancing, all those things are effective and that’s why we’ve got the numbers that are improving,” Ezike said.

Ezike cautioned that the numbers may change as the state reopens more of its economy. She said officials will continue to monitor the numbers as the state prepares to move to phase three of Gov. JB Pritzker’s reopening plan.

Pritzker said Tuesday that the state’s four regions remain on track to enter phase three of Illinois’ reopening plan on May 29. That phase would allow manufacturing, offices, retail, barbershops and salons to reopen to the public with certain restrictions.

He said the administration will be releasing guidance in the coming days on how those businesses may reopen.

“Everybody should be, I think, optimistic about 10 days from now on,” Pritzker said. “Haircuts, manufacturing, offices, warehousing and a lot of industries and jobs coming back online. Frankly, I think everybody is pretty excited about it.”

Pritzker pushed back against businesses and municipalities that are looking to reopen ahead of the state’s plan, saying he wants to avoid a patchwork approach to the virus between communities.

“It’s about our collective impact on each other,” he said.

Officials reported 146 more deaths Tuesday, bringing the state’s total to 4,379. There were 1,545 new cases of COVID-19 announced Tuesday, bringing the total to 98,030 positive tests in 100 counties.

There were 18,443 more COVID-19 tests completed, bringing the state’s total to 621,684.

Pritzker also announced Illinois has surpassed New York among the country’s most populous states for the number of COVID-19 tests processed per capita over the past week.

“Today we reached another major milestone,” he said, adding the state now has more than 250 public testing sites.

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