October 21, 2020

Pritzker: Hospital space, supplies holding up as coronavirus curve ‘bends’ in Illinois

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CHICAGO — State health officials confirmed 2,341 additional cases of coronavirus disease and 46 related deaths Monday, as Illinois begins operating under a new stay-at-home order.

Under the new order, some businesses opened over the weekend and masks are required for anyone over the age of two in many public places. Gatherings of more than 10 are still not allowed.

Speaking during his daily news conference Monday, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker said 4,493 people are currently hospitalized in the state with COVID-19 related illness.

As Illinois continues to see a bend in the curve of infection, Pritzker said the demand for hospital resources like respirators has not exceeded the state’s capacity. Health officials warned a spike in cases could overwhelm the healthcare system.

Statistics show the northern suburbs continue to have the lowest availability of open ICU capacity (11.9% or 27 beds), followed by the western suburbs (15.9% or 77 beds) and Chicago (16.9% or 186 beds).

Since the outbreak began, there have been 63,840 coronavirus cases and 2,662 deaths in Illinois, and over 333,000 have been tested to date.

When it comes to Illinois’ supplies of personal protective equipment, Pritzker says the state’s stockpile has grown considerably since even one month ago. 

But he’s still encouraging all frontline healthcare workers to send their used PPE to a location in Waukegan that will recycle them. For instance, each N95 mask can be contaminated up to 20 times.

With the start of Teacher and Educator Appreciation Week, Pritzker also said that while school looks a lot different these days, educators deserve more recognition than ever before.

You can find the latest data on COVID-19 in Illinois and Chicago here.

Watch Above: Illinois Governor JB Pritzker gives daily update on the spread of COVID-19 in Illinois and state measures