Some COVID-19 metrics are on an upward trend in Illinois, with new daily cases of COVID-19 in the state hitting their highest number today since early February.
The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 3,526 new cases. That’s the highest daily report of new cases since February 5 when there were 3,660 reported. The IDPH reported 25 additional deaths today as well.
COVID-19 Patients in Hospitals
Statewide, admission numbers at hospitals for COVID-19 patients are also showing an upward trend. The IDPH reports 1,411 hospitalized patients with COVID-19 in the state for March 31, the last date recorded. A week earlier, on March 24, that number was at 1,251.
On March 24, Region 7 had a 7-day rolling average of 47 COVID-19 patients in the hospital, as opposed to the latest reading on March 31, which shows 64.
Region 8 had an average of 103 patients on March 24, currently up to 118.
Edward Hospital in Naperville is currently treating 18 inpatients with confirmed COVID-19 cases, after dipping to a recent low of seven on March 23.
Local Positivity Rates Rise
Positivity rates for both regions have also increased over the last week. On March 22, the 7-day rolling positivity average for Region 7 was 3.4%, as compared to the latest reading of 4.3% recorded on March 29.
For Region 8, in that same time, average positivity rates have risen from 4.3% to 5.6%.
Bridge Phase Delay
These types of upward trends are what prompted the state to delay the transition to the “Bridge Phase.” That phase had been planned to begin in mid-April, but is now on hold until at least May.
Once the state enters that phase, capacity limits in indoor and outdoor settings will increase. The state has met the vaccination benchmark to achieve the Bridge Phase with more than 70% of residents 65 and older having received at least one dose of vaccine. But in a press release on Wednesday, the state’s health department said, “The number of people being admitted to the hospital in Illinois due to COVID-19 continues to increase. As long as new hospital admissions continue to increase, the state will not advance to the Bridge Phase and on to Phase 5 of the Restore Illinois Plan. The number of cases of COVID-19 has seen an increasing trend as well.”
The state has been stepping up its efforts to get more residents vaccinated, recently launching new mass vaccination clinics in several counties. Currently 17.30% of Illinois residents have been fully vaccinated.
Locally, in DuPage County 18.20% of residents have been fully vaccinated, with 14.56% of residents in Will County.
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