SPRINGFIELD – Illinois surpassed 300,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 8,800 virus-related deaths over the weekend as it approached 6 million tests conducted since the pandemic first reached the state.

The Illinois Department of Public Health announced 62 additional virus-related deaths from Saturday through Monday, bringing total casualties in the state to 8,805.

There were 1,631 people hospitalized for the virus at the end of Sunday, including 382 in intensive care units and 155 on ventilators.

While hospitalization numbers can fluctuate by the hundreds daily, a Capitol News Illinois analysis of IDPH data shows the weekly average for hospitalizations has crept slightly upward in all three categories in recent weeks as the state’s test positivity rate has remained roughly level.

From Monday, Sept. 28, through Sunday, Oct. 4, there was an average of 1,594 hospital beds in use by COVID-19 patients. That was an increase of 17 from the previous seven-day period ending Sept. 27. It’s also the highest seven-day average since the week ending June 21 saw an average of 1,792. On average, between 34 percent and 40 percent of hospital beds have been available on any day over the past week throughout the state.

Intensive care bed usage has crept up for three consecutive seven-day periods. For the week ending Oct. 4, there were 371 ICU beds in use by COVID-19 patients on average. That’s up from a 363 average the week ending Sept. 27, a 350 average the week ending Sept. 20 and a 345 average the week ending Sept. 13. It’s a new high since the week ending June 28, when there was an average of 391 beds in use per day.

Between 38 percent and 42 percent of ICU beds were available statewide on average last week.

Ventilator use has seen a similar minor upswing, with 150 being used by COVID-19 patients on average for the week ending Oct. 4. That’s up from 142 the week prior, and it the highest number since 176 were used on average the week ending July 5.

Over the past week, between 76 percent and 78 percent of ventilators were available each day.

The numbers in all three categories were well off of their highs from late April and early May.

Over the previous three days, the state reported an average of 1,916 confirmed cases of the virus each day among an average daily test output of 53,942. That brought the rolling seven-day average test positivity rate to 3.4 percent.

Region 4, which includes the Metro East area on the Missouri border, saw its positivity rate decrease to 6.9 percent, according to the latest data, which was nearing the 6.5 percent rate the region must hit to see COVID-19 mitigations lifted. There were 147 positive tests in the region among 2,639 results reported on Saturday, Oct. 2, the latest day numbers were reported by IDPH.

In Region 1, which includes northwest Illinois, the positivity rate as of Saturday – the first day increased mitigations took effect in the region – was 8.5 percent. It must also decrease to 6.5 percent before indoor dining and drinking is allowed once again. There were 267 positive cases among 3,466 results reported Saturday.

Whiteside County accounted for 43 of those positive cases among its 287 results reported, which made for a one-day positivity rate of 15 percent. Winnebago County produced 125 of the positive cases among 1,562 results reported, an 8 percent one-day positivity rate.

Capitol News Illinois is a nonprofit, nonpartisan news service covering state government and distributed to more than 400 newspapers statewide. It is funded primarily by the Illinois Press Foundation and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation.

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