ICU bed availability remains low in Central Illinois | Top Stories

DECATUR, Ill. (WAND) — While cases of COVID-19 have slowly declined in central Illinois over the past week, there are still very few intensive care unit beds available.

St. Mary’s chief medical officer Ryan Jennings said it was because cases were more severe in patients in intensive care units.

“Right now we haven’t seen much change in bed availability due to the long stays that many patients with COVID-19 have, and that number will likely lag by a couple of weeks to really start seeing bed availability.” ‘ Jennings said.

Currently, IDPH has reported that Region 3 has just eight ICU beds left, while Region 6 has 19 open.

Although there are only a few beds available, Jennings said she should still go to the hospital if necessary.

“Don’t hesitate with the care, that’s the most important thing,” he said. “We have great partnerships across the state to ensure people who need critical care and emergency care make sure they are cared for. So, most importantly, do not delay care. The best way to avoid this serious illness and end up in hospital or especially in intensive care is still vaccination.”

Experts believe this surge has already peaked but said it will be weeks before these beds reopen.

“Everyone feels the same thing: cautious optimism that the total number of cases is going down, but the beds aren’t quite free yet,” Jennings said.

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