Illinois reports over 11,500 new COVID-19 cases, highest single-day total since last year
SPRINGFIELD (WGEM) - COVID-19 continues to spread quickly throughout Illinois.
The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 11,524 new confirmed and probable cases Thursday. That is the most cases reported in a day since December 1, 2020. 231,876 tests were conducted over the last 24 hours.
Gov. JB Pritzker is concerned with the recent rise in new cases and hospitalizations just as the new COVID-19 variant starts to spread in the United States.
There are now 2,537 people hospitalized for COVID-19, a number Illinois hasn’t seen since January 29. The 7-day rolling positivity rate is also now up to 4.7%.
Pritzker said Thursday that he won’t lift the indoor mask mandate for Illinois until hospitalizations go down. He also stressed that the number of new patients continues to rise each day.
The governor said the Omicron variant is probably already in Illinois. He noted most of the people hospitalized right now are unvaccinated.
“So, it’s unclear. Is Omicron attacking people who are unvaccinated more often than they are vaccinated people,” Pritzker asked. “I believe that’s the case because that seems to be the case with everything about this disease. But we’ll have to see.”
New York has suspended elective surgeries to help hospitals have more room for COVID-19 patients. However, Pritzker said he is not considering that move for Illinois right now.
“I consult with hospital leaders frequently to determine what’s the situation in your hospital, do you have enough beds? What do you think will happen if we continue to have an increase? What are your plans? We’re always watching that to know is there something more we need to do,” Pritzker said.
Pritzker continued to encourage people to get booster shots or their first COVID-19 vaccine. The governor said his administration would consider creating mass vaccination sites if they thought an area of the state with unvaccinated people struggled to get access to the shots.
However, Pritzker said the state is not facing a vaccine shortage as appointments are readily available.
“We really don’t have a major limitation on supply right now,” Pritzker said. “Yes, it’s taking a little longer than you’d like to be able to do it today or tomorrow. And it might take a couple of days to get a booster. But, again, we don’t have a shortage in the state.”
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