(WTVO) — With Region 1 of Illinois recording a rolling positivity rate of 6.2%, we are seeing COVID-19 numbers reminiscent of winter. One doctor says the increase in cases at the same more vaccines are available could mean those who aren’t vaccinated are responsible for the spread.
“The pandemic is not over. I know we are tired of it, we are sick of this mess, it’s summertime now, it’s hard to keep the mask on the face but it’s far from over,” said Dr. Yaser Zeater, a pulmonologist at SwedishAmerican Hospital.
The most recent data from IDPH shows a slight resurgence in the Stateline. Region 1 is seeing its highest positivity rate since late January. Local hospitals are also experiencing an uptick in COVID patients, with only 21% of ICU beds available region-wide.
“The younger people, who have some risk factors such as obesity, or diabetes, or some other conditions, are the ones who are coming to the hospital now with Covid-19 infections,” said Dr. Zeater. “Every day there is one or two who come into the hospital, unfortunately.”
Dr. Zeater thinks the prevalence of the vaccine in the senior community explains why young people are the biggest contributors to the surge.
“The older population, I think they are vaccinated for the most part, which is good. The vaccine is helping to keep people safe. Sickness will be mild sickness, if they have any, and they don’t have to come to the hospital,” the doctor added.
The region’s highest recorded test positivity rate was 20.9% last November. Dr. Zeater is optimistic we won’t see those numbers again with the vaccine becoming more widely available. Still, he says it is important for people to stay vigilant and avoid pandemic fatigue.
“I don’t think it’s going to be as bad as what happened in November and December,” added Dr. Zeater. “But keeping the mask on is also important until we have vaccine more widespread than now.”