All things COVID-19 in Illinois

Local News

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WTVO) — COVID-19 cases are surging across Illinois.

Nearly 6,300 people were hospitalized Sunday, breaking a record set in November 2020, and health officials across the state are taking a look at elective surgeries as the state ramps up testing efforts.

Governor J.B. Pritzker said on Monday that they are ramping up efforts to get more testing for Illinois residents after people have gathered for the holidays.

“Demand is up again, but we’ve got labs across the state, as well as in the region that are under contract with us, to deliver at faster rates the results of those tests,” Pritzker said.

Pritzker said that testing is up in the state after the holidays.

“In Illinois, what we’re doing is making more free community based testing available, mobile sites for people to get tested and increasing the number of staff that are helping the local public health departments to do that testing,” Pritzker said.

Health systems across Illinois chose whether to do elective surgeries, depending on how exhausted their resources are.

“At this point in time, with the numbers being what they are, there’s really no other option,” said Colleen Swick, Director of Cardiology, Oncology and Interventional Pain Services at Sarah Bush Lincoln Nursing. “We have to be realistic in trying to provide ways of providing the same level of care that we’ve always provided with the volumes that we’re currently seeing. It’s definitely a stretch, as it is for every healthcare organization. We’re working harder than we’ve ever worked.”

With the strain on systems, Dr. Sam Sears, Director of Behavioral Health Physician Services at OSF HealthCare, said that doing a person’s part can help take the burden off of healthcare workers.

“Being asked to legitimately put their own health and safety, and those of their loved ones, on the line every day to try and help others out, that is ultimately, as healthcare providers, what we signed up to do,” Sears said. “But, I don’t know that most individuals had really ever dealt with the impact directly, and personally, in the same manner as they’re having to see it every single day.”

Residents can now get a COVID-19 test at the old K-Mart on Sandy Hollow Road six days a week.

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