March 31, 2020
At today’s press briefing, the Illinois Dept. of Public Health (IDPH) announced 937 new COVID-19 cases, for a total of 5,994 cases in 54 counties statewide. Twenty-six new deaths were reported for a total of 99 deaths.
IDPH Director Ngozi Ezike, M.D. said that COVID-19 testing is prioritized for those 65-years old and those with the most severe illness and those who are at highest risk. Testing will also be prioritized for those who are in correctional facilities and nursing homes.
Dr. Ezike noted that 80% of those who become infected will not need critical care. She urged the public to stay home, follow social distancing practices and continue washing their hands.
At the briefing, Gov. Pritzker announced the extension of the state’s stay-at-home order to April 30, this includes schools throughout the state.
He also reported that collectively hospitals statewide have 41% of ICU beds available and 68% of ventilators available. Currently 35% of ICU beds statewide are occupied by COVID-19 patients and 24% of ventilators are being used on COVID-19 patients. He noted that the greatest risk of hitting capacity is weeks from now.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced that 250 hotel rooms have been made available for healthcare workers and first responders to rest in a safe space.
Illinoisans were reminded that healthcare professionals and regular volunteers are critically needed throughout the state. Those interested in volunteering should visit IllinoisHelps.net
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, IDPH announced it has suspended the new required validation of 48-hour reporting of opioid overdoses in hospital emergency departments until at least June 30. Today was the original due date for the first quarter report. Hospitals were sent a letter notifying them of this change.
The Illinois Health Facilities & Services Review Board announced that it has suspended the reporting of the Annual Hospital Questionnaire until further notice.
The Shriver Center on Poverty Law has developed a webpage on COVID-19 Resources for Individuals and Families in Illinois.
The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) announced on Sunday that 14 Family Community Resource Centers (FCRC) will remain open with reduced staff to balance the need to provide essential services while meeting Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s social distancing guidelines during the coronavirus situation. FCRCs are the public facing benefits offices that bring nutrition and medical supports to individuals and families across the state. IDHS urges all customers to apply for and manage their benefits online at ABE.illinois.gov or by calling the IDHS Help is Here toll-free line at 833-2-FIND-HELP.