Hospitals across the state of Illinois are feeling the effects of the delta variant.
Right now, Illinois is being overwhelmed by delta variant cases. The state is reporting only 3% of ICU beds in Southern Illinois are open
Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker says the delta variant is increasingly causing concern for state hospital capacities in communities all across Illinois.
According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, 6 out of the state’s 11 regions are currently below the 20% ICU threshold that indicates stressed capacity.
The department also says, in Southern Illinois, only 44.2% of the population is fully vaccinated.
Health officials say ICU beds are not only for COVID-19 patients, but are essential for people in need of medical care in emergency situations.
In retaliation, Governor Pritzker mandated masks again, effective August 30th.
Another new requirement, all school staff throughout the state will now be required to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. This includes school staff in all K-12 facilities as well as staff in higher education facilities like colleges and universities, according to Governor Pritzker.
The new vaccine requirement will also apply to all healthcare workers, like those in nursing homes, hospitals, urgent care, and doctors' offices.
Gov. Pritzker says that as of Sept. 5, any of those individuals who are still unvaccinated will be required to be tested for COVID-19 at least once a week, and that more frequent testing may be required under certain circumstances like a COVID-19 outbreak.