Illinois sees uptick in new COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WGEM) - Illinois had several weeks of continued decrease in new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. However, that quickly changed over the past ten days.
The Illinois Department of Public Health has tracked an uptick in new cases across the entire state. IDPH officials also said that led to more people going into the hospital in certain regions.
There were over 17,000 new confirmed and probable cases reported last week. The 7-day average for cases is now 2,671.
Gov. JB Pritzker recently said he hoped to ease back the mask mandate for the holiday season, but that may not happen now. IDPH Director Ngozi Ezike said it’s inappropriate right now to think of going mask-free for the holidays.
Ideally, Ezike said people could be talking about Illinois having low to moderate spread of COVID-19, but that is not the case.
IDPH reported 2,060 new confirmed and probable cases Monday. The state also said over 1,300 people are hospitalized for complications with COVID-19.
So what led to this significant change?
Ezike said many events that may have been held outdoors with warmer weather moved inside over the last few weeks.
“As we’ve moved indoors, we haven’t maybe taken our masks indoors with us. So a lot of unmasked indoor gatherings are likely part of the problem,” Ezike said. “Of course, COVID is so complicated. It’s been throwing us curveball after curveball.”
Ezike said she understands the fatigue around wearing masks and that people want to return to the lifestyle they enjoyed before the pandemic started, but she stressed we’re not beyond this virus. COVID-19 is still spreading quickly in indoor settings.
Ezike said vaccination is the best way for people to stay safe. Unvaccinated people still make up the vast majority of those hospitalized for COVID-19 complications.
Illinois is now averaging 25 deaths from COVID-19 each day. At this rate, Ezike said people need to consider that several hundred more people may not make it to Thanksgiving.
She feels everyone should use all tools to prevent the spread of the virus.
“We’d like to do everything we can (by) vaccinating, getting boosted, wearing our masks, you know encouraging other people to get vaccinated. All of that will help decrease these horrible statistics that we keep reporting and watching every day,” Ezike said.
Although, Ezike is optimistic about young children now having the chance to get vaccinated. Ezike said young adults should also get vaccinated so they don’t end up in the hospital.
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