Brief: All time high COVID positivity causing staff shortages ahead of Christmas holiday

COVID-19 case numbers hit an all time high for the state of Illinois according to case numbers reported by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH).

Many businesses like restaurants and bars have shut down due to high numbers of staff contracting the disease at a time when many people are traveling around the country for the Christmas holiday.

18,942 positive cases were recorded on December 23, 2021. The previous record high for positive cases was recorded on November 5, 2020. 


318 Illinois residents have died from COVID in the past week, according to an IDPH press release. 

Southern Illinois Healthcare (SIH) hospitals had COVID positive 49 patients as of noon on December 23, 2021.

The number of available Intensive Care Unit beds available around the state have steadily decreased since mid-May 2021. 

Through most of the pandemic ICU bed capacity has been increased or decreased to make sure 30% of beds remain open to new patients. 

IDPH reported 11.6% of beds open on December 22, 2021. 

The Southern Illinois region which includes Jackson County had seven available beds at the time of publication. 

The state’s all-time high case positivity comes just three days after the Centers for Disease Control recorded the second highest level of positive cases nation-wide. 


290,671 cases were recorded around the country on December 20, 2021.

CDC officials recommended vaccinations, wearing masks in indoor public spaces, avoiding crowds and getting tested before attending indoor gatherings, according to a press release.

64% of Illinois residents have been fully vaccinated, according to the IDPH press release. 

Staff reporter Jason Flynn can be reached at [email protected], by phone at 872-222-7821 or on Twitter at @dejasonflynn. To stay up to date with all your southern Illinois news, follow the Daily Egyptian on Facebook and Twitter.