With COVID cases spiking again, southern Illinois feels ICU strain
Southern Illinois is again showing signs of COVID strain, as the number of available ICU beds in local hospitals has dropped to less than 10.
State statistics show a spike in new coronavirus cases across Illinois - in some cases at dramatically higher rates than the last several weeks.
Hospitalizations continue to climb, putting doctors, nurses, and other hospital staff under increased pressure to care for more patients - many of whom are very sick and need specialized care.
Southern Illinois Healthcare's inpatient COVID cases nearly doubled in one week - from 24 last week to 47 this week. SSM hospitals in Mt. Vernon and Centralia jumped from 21 to 38 patients. Both organizations reported half as many patients a month ago.
Data still seems to show a big disparity between the unvaccinated and vaccinated - far more people who are unvaccinated are getting sick, and needing hospitalization.
Meanwhile health leaders are urging everyone who's already been fully vaccinated to get a booster shot - as statistics show it helps boost any waning immunity.