With state COVID-19 cases on the rise, Southern Illinois sees uptick in hospitalizations

With state COVID-19 cases on the rise, Southern Illinois sees uptick in hospitalizations
Southern Illinois Healthcare received its first shipment of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines on Wednesday.

The rise in COVID-19 cases seen across Illinois is beginning to trickle into parts of Southern Illinois.

Southern Illinois Healthcare reported 12 hospitalizations as of Thursday, and while that number is nowhere near the hospital system's high of 60 COVID-19 patients, only three patients had been hospitalized on March 4. The number of patients hospitalized by the virus rose to six on March 11, and then eight by March 25.

"Our numbers in Region V and locally are stable — our percent positive, number of cases, hospital admissions and ICU bed availability. March was our lowest number of COVID admissions since July. Other regions in the state have been seeing cases and hospitalizations go up and ICU availability go down,” SIH Chief Medical Officer Dr. Marci Moore-Connelley said.

The number of new cases is stable, with Southern Seven Health Department reporting four new cases; Jackson County Health Department reporting four new cases; Franklin-Williamson Bi-County Health Department reporting 17 new cases, including four in Franklin County and 13 in Williamson County; and Egyptian Health Department reporting four new cases in Saline County, and none in Gallatin or White counties.

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“We are watching the numbers closely and continue to encourage safety protocols and vaccinations in our facilities and across the communities. We are at about 50% of our employees (who) are vaccinated," Moore-Connelley said.

Meanwhile, the Illinois Department of Public Health on Thursday, reported 3,739 new confirmed and probable cases of the coronavirus disease, and 34 additional deaths.

According to IDPH, the state has had a total of 1,269,196 cases, including 21,457 deaths, in all of Illinois' 102 counties.

The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity rate from April 1 through Wednesday was 4.2%. The preliminary seven-day statewide test positivity from April 1 through Wednesday, April 7, 2021 is 4.8%.

Southern Illinois positivity rates in the following counties are: Alexander, 2.4%; Franklin, 3.7%; Gallatin, 2.1%; Hamilton, 3.5%; Hardin, 2.9%; Jackson, 2.8%; Johnson, 0.3%; Massac, 0.5%; Perry, 0.6%; Pope, 5.8%; Pulaski, 0.0%; Randolph, 1.7%; Saline, 3.1%; Union, 1.7%; White, 0.5%; and Williamson, 2.1%.