CHICAGO HOSPITALS SEE UPTICK IN COVID CASES
The United States leads the world in the daily average number of new COVID-19 infections reported, accounting for one in every three infections reported worldwide, according to a Reuters tally. On Monday, January 10, the country shattered global records when it reported 1.35 million cases in a single day, largely fueled by the highly contagious Omicron variant.
According to the latest figures from the Illinois Department of Public Health, there are currently 7,219 hospitalized patients who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the state. Less than 10% of the state’s ICU beds remain open, according to data from the health department.
Doctors in Chicago on Thursday (January 13) say they haven’t seen such a startling rise in COVID-19 cases in their hospitals since the pandemic started in the U.S. nearly two years ago.
“Ever since Thanksgiving really, all of a sudden, we just saw a significant uptick in the number of COVID-positive patients needing hospitalization and it just has not stopped,” said Dr. Suzanne Pham, Weiss Memorial Hospital’s associate chief medical officer and medical director of the hospital’s COVID-19 response team. “Everyone is already so tired after having to be pushed harder than ever over the past two years and now have to be asked to ‘please work another shift, please extend your shift another couple of hours just to give your coworkers a little time.’ It’s been so challenging, physically, and very much, emotionally.”
“We… are actually at the highest number of COVID patients admitted to the hospital at any given time during the entire pandemic,” said Dr. Michael Hoffman, Cook County Health’s lead physician for COVID-19 medical units. “It is pretty striking.”
“Right now, we’re caring for over 7,500 inpatients at Advocate Aurora hospitals, which is a record during this pandemic, and it’s really put a big strain on our healthcare system,” said Dr. Robert Citronberg, Advocate Aurora Health’s executive medical director of infectious disease and prevention. “You take care of so many patients. We are starting to see a leveling off of the growth of cases in our hospitals, but we’re still at a level where we are caring for many people. The numbers are probably double what it was just a few weeks ago. We are filled with COVID patients.”