By Samah Assad
CHICAGO (CBS) — As hospitals in Illinois geared up at the start of the coronavirus outbreak to treat infected patients, it quickly became evident the growing need for care outweighed available resources.
Estimates from the Harvard Global Health Institute show in three different scenarios how Illinois would likely not have sufficient hospital beds available over the course of the pandemic. This does not differ from the findings for other states across the country.
Gov. JB Pritzker previously acknowledged the state was exploring potential sites that could assist if there is an overflow of patients, and some local hospitals and facilities told CBS 2 they had plans in place to quickly expand hospital space or take in more patients if needed.
On Thursday, Pritzker announced 673 new cases were confirmed in just one day. This brings Illinois’ total to 2,538 cases. Twenty six people have died.
While not all of those infected with coronavirus will require treatment in an intensive care unit (ICU), experts — including a Johns Hopkins study — emphasize it’s critical there is sufficient hospital and ICU bed space, respectively, to appropriately treat those infected during any pandemic.
The Illinois Department of Public Health has released daily totals for the number of ICU beds in the state, including how many are currently available. The state also released totals on the number of ventilators and of those, how many are available. CBS 2 is tracking how those numbers change daily, starting from March 19 through present day. Officials said increases are at already-operating hospitals. They also said the increases in availability appear to be due to efforts by those hospitals to increase bed availability.
Data illustrated in the charts below includes availability and usage for both coronavirus and non-coronavirus patients. As of May 27, coronavirus patients made up nearly 26.9 percent of those currently occupying ICU beds and 9.9 percent of those using ventilators.