Coronavirus: 3 cases confirmed at Stateville Correction Center in Crest Hill

Ruben Fields
March 26, 2020

The Illinois Department of Public Health on Wednesday afternoon announced 330 new positive cases of the new coronavirus, COVID-19.

Pritzker told reporters at his daily COVID-19 briefing Wednesday that the move would "support our residents and most small businesses and. soften the immediate economic impact of this moment". An additional death of a Crystal Lake man was announced hours after Pritzker's news conference.

Across the state there are 26,025 hospital beds, and as of Monday, just over half of them - 13,437 - were occupied, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health. The state now stands at total of 1,535 cases in 32 counties.

"It takes all of us to counter this pandemic", Ezike said. "It is not easy to be reporting these numbers every day".

IL was among the first states to test for COVID-19 in state-managed labs, beginning with the capacity to run 50 tests a day in February and since expanding to three state labs running 600 tests a day. If the state took no action to combat the virus, hospitals would need an additional 837 ICU beds and 419 ventilators by March 30, and an extra 9,047 ICU beds and 4,704 ventilators by April 6, according to IDPH projections.

The governor said testing helps identify the spread of the virus.

The state, of course, has intervened with its "stay-at-home" order, closing of schools, bars and restaurants, and various other measures.

As of Tuesday, Pritzker said that 51% of hospital beds and 57% of ICU beds are filled, and nearly 30% percent of all available ventilators are being used across the state. In total, 66 of the state's over 200 hospitals are now operating with this expanded capacity.

Worst-case scenarios indicate that with no intervention, the state would need an additional 28,000 non-ICU beds and 9,400 ICU beds within the next two weeks.

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Salvador Illa, the health minister, stated retirement community were "an outright top priority for the government". The Defense Ministry said workers at some nursing homes had split after the coronavirus was detected.

"We're using a two-pronged approach to make sure a worst-case scenario does not become our reality", said Pritzker.

Additionally, Pritzker said the state now is testing about 2,000 individuals a day.

Finally, there are four commercial labs and 15 hospital labs operating across the state, which average about 1,500 tests per day. The state expects to be testing more than 4,300 people a day in the near future.

Pritzker's "stay at home" order, which was announced on Friday, remains in place throughout IL until April 7.

The last prong of Pritzker's package includes a $14 million grant program for small bars, restaurants and hotels to assist in maintaining payroll and paying rent. "I am concerned that we may have to extend that deadline". "We are in a city where COVID-19 is spreading in our neighborhoods".

The state is working to potentially reopen previously closed hospitals. In a worst-case scenario surge, the State would dedicate several dozen existing hospitals nearly entirely to COVID-19 patients, moving non-COVID patients to other hospitals, including these re-outfitted locations.

The state put out a call this week for former members of the medical community who have changed careers to consider coming back to the medical field.

Appearing with Pritzker Wednesday, the head of the trade group representing IL hotels and motels said his industry is expecting as many as 120,000 job cuts around the state in coming weeks and hailed the relief funds as "critical resources to hoteliers to avoid as many layoffs as possible".

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