Pritzker: Rising COVID-19 hospitalizations in Illinois are 'problematic'

The number of COVID-19 patients in Illinois hospitals is trending up, and "that's something we're watching closely," Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Thursday as officials announced 1,953 new virus cases and 28 more deaths. People hospitalized with the respiratory disease totaled 1,609 as of Wednesday night, higher than September's daily average of 1,563, the Illinois Department of Public Health reported. "Our hospitalizations are rising, and that's problematic," Pritzker said at a Chicago briefing. The average daily patient count was 1,420 in July and 1,521 in August, with a 10% increase from July to September. Pritzker also announced virus-related restrictions, such as no indoor dining at restaurants and bars, will continue in Will and Kankakee counties until their COVID-19 test positivity rate drops from the current average of 7.5% to 6.5%.