Omicron continues to surge as Illinois and surrounding states see another week of record positivity
Omicron continues to wreak havoc on positivity rates and hospitalizations across Illinois and its neighbors.
In this week's report, Illinois recorded more than 200,000 new cases for the second week in a row. It also announced 738 new deaths, and reported 7,320 COVID patients in the hospital.
Test positivity in Illinois was 10.6%. Missouri reported 33.2% positivity, Kentucky 27.7%, and Indiana 42.3% - all an increase over the previous week.
In our region, nearly 11,000 new cases were reported, and 50 new deaths. SIH reports 68 hospitalizations - up from 63 last week, and SSM reports 42 COVID patients - up from 37 last week.
Prisons in our region are also dealing with outbreaks - Menard Correctional Center recorded 285 new cases. Big Muddy, Centralia, and Shawnee also saw a spike.
Experts continue to urge vaccination and masking, as well as distancing where possible.
SIU Testing Rates
SIU Carbondale's required testing as the Spring semester began produced a big jump in cases in this week's report - as administrators expected.
As of January 9, the university reported 247 active cases - 170 students and 77 faculty and staff. Thirty-five students who live on campus are in isolation housing.
It's a dramatic jump over last semester, when testing was only required in the unvaccinated population. Administrators say they expected this spike, and say despite the high numbers, the campus will return to in-person classes next week.