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CHICAGO, Ill. – Gov. JB Pritzker says Illinois is reaching an all-time record number of COVID cases and seeing surging hospitalizations. He said data shows the unvaccinated are filling up 85% of the state’s hospital beds and 95% of ICU beds.

“Our COVID 19 hospitalizations are now even higher than last winter when vaccines weren’t widely available,” said Gov. Pritzker. “I fear the climb will continue as the virus incubates in those who were exposed at the end of December.”

He said during an afternoon briefing that the number of children in pediatric wards has tripled since the beginning of December.

Also, the number of hospitalizations doubled in the month of December. Officials say there also is a high amount of burnout among staff. The Illinois Hospital Association says they are desperately looking to hire more staff but are competing with other states to hire people.

The Illinois Hospital Association said it is competing with hospitals across the country for staff. It says it is desperately recruiting staff.

Illinois has sent more help to vaccine sites across the state and community-based testing centers will be open 6-days a week now. There is one in Fairview Heights.