SPRINGFIELD,Ill.– The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) says hospitals across the state are being overwhelmed by Delta variant cases.
During a Thursday press conference, Gov. JB Pritzker said the regions in the state with the lowest vaccination rates, like southern and east-central Illinois, are where there are fewer hospitals and lower hospital capacity.
Gov. Pritzker also said that hospital administrators are asking for more help to deal with the sheer number of patients.
State officials say ICU beds aren’t just for COVID patients but also need to be available for people in need of medical care from other emergency situations.
In the Metro East, the IDPH says hospital ICU capacity is above 20%. There are four other regions with hospital ICU capacity above 20%.
Southern Illinois has 3% of ICU beds available. That is the least in the state. That region also has 44.2% of people fully vaccinated, the lowest in the state.
Five other regions have between 10% and 20% ICU availability.
Pritzker also pointed the finger at unvaccinated health care workers for getting people in their care sick.
“Unvaccinated workers in the health care system and nursing homes have driven a majority of the breakthrough hospitalizations we’ve seen in the state,” he said.
Yesterday, Gov. Pritzker announced vaccines would be required for all pre-K-12 teachers and staff, all higher education staff and students, as well as health care workers.
Also, starting Monday, Aug. 30, everyone ages 2 and up will be required to wear masks in indoor settings regardless of vaccination status.