Illinois COVID-19 hospitalizations at lowest point in four months
Hospitals statewide are treating the fewest COVID-19 patients since Oct. 1.
Illinois Department of Public Health records show Illinois hospitals were treating 861 COVID-19 patients as of Wednesday, the most recently available data. Of those hospitalized with the respiratory disease, 100 were in ICU beds.
COVID-19 patient loads at Illinois hospitals have been heading downward for weeks, mirroring a national trend, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
As hospitalizations have declined, federal and state leaders announced an end to pandemic emergency declarations on May 11.
Illinois Department of Public Health officials have said they will remain vigilant monitoring cases and hospitalizations.
"We want the public to know that we will not let down our guard when it comes to protecting Illinoisans from COVID-19," IDPH Director Dr. Sameer Vohra said. "The virus is still circulating and causing hospitalizations and deaths in the state. This is why we continue to focus our efforts on promoting vaccinations, testing and timely treatment, especially when it comes to protecting our most vulnerable friends and neighbors."
Without disaster declarations, free testing and treatments will come to an end. Some critics worry that those without health insurance will be left with fewer care options.
The state health department is offering free home testing kits while supplies last through the ACT Project's accesscovidtests.org website.
The state is still offering free testing at a variety of sites as well. A list is available at the agency's website, dph.illinois.gov/covid19/testing.
Illinois' death toll from COVID-19 stands at 36,167 since the Illinois Department of Public Health began tracking in March 2020. That includes 76 more deaths for the week that ended Jan. 29, state health officials said.
Currently, Cook County and the surrounding five-county suburban region are all at low risk for community spread, according to the CDC.