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Illinois governor says COVID-19 surge has left ICU capacity ‘frighteningly limited’ in parts of the state

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker got into a testy exchange with reporter Amy Jacobson over COVID restrictions in schools.

AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast

  • A COVID-19 surge in Illinois has left ICU capacity “frighteningly limited” in parts of the state, the governor said.
  • Gov. JB Pritzker also said he urged providers to postpone non-emergency surgeries at this time.
  • In three of the state’s 11 regions, ICU capacity is in the single digits.

A COVID-19 surge in Illinois has left ICU capacity “frighteningly limited” in parts of the state, Gov. JB Pritzker said on Monday. 

Illinois has regions where ICU bed availability is “frighteningly limited — in just the single digits,” he said at a press conference on Monday.

At a statewide level, just 316 of 2,977 ICU beds are available, according to data from the state’s Department of Public Health, which breaks down its COVID-19 figures across 11 different geographical regions. 

In three of those regions, ICU capacity is in the single digits. 

Pritzker said he urged providers last week “to postpone non-emergency surgeries so they can use existing staff to expand ICU capacity wherever possible.”  

The governor also said that hospitalizations are at higher levels than they were at this point last year. 

“I fear the climb will continue as the virus incubates in those who were exposed at the end of December,” he said. 

Illinois is averaging around 23,000 COVID-19 cases a day, according to the latest data from the health department. 

Pritzker’s remarks come as the country faces a surge in cases driven by the highly transmissible Omicron variant. 

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