Region 1 Local Health Departments and Hospitals Urge Public to Take Steps to Address the High Hospital Patient Volumes

This is a joint news release issued by the Northern Illinois Rockford Region (Region 1) Public Information Officers. Region 1 serves Boone, Carroll, DeKalb, Jo Daviess, Lee, Ogle, Stephenson, Whiteside, and Winnebago Counties.


Northern Illinois Rockford Region – Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases are rising at an alarming rate in the Northern Illinois Rockford Region, Region 1, and an increasing number of patients with COVID-19 are being admitted to local hospitals. Hospital bed availability has reached a critically low
level, demand on hospital resources is high, and most of the local hospitals have experienced long wait times in their Emergency Departments.

With the identification of COVID-19 variants (Delta and Omicron) that spread more easily and the increasing COVID-19 cases in our region, the nine county local health departments and the eleven hospitals in Region 1 jointly seek the support and action of the community to address the high patient volumes.

The Public Is Urged To:

  • Use the emergency department for emergencies only.
  • Contact your primary care provider or go to a walk-in clinic for non-emergency needs.
  • For more information on when to use the emergency department, see the attached guide from Northwestern Medicine.
  • Show compassion towards staff who are working hard amid this crisis.
  • Get vaccinated for COVID-19 and flu. If eligible, get your COVID-19 booster shot.
  • COVID-19 vaccine is available for everyone 5 and older.
  • Flu vaccine is available for everyone 6 months and older.
  • Flu and COVID-19 vaccine can be given at the same time.

To find a vaccine provider, go to, call 1-800-232-0233 or text your ZIP code to 738829

Prevent the spread of COVID-19 with layered measures. In addition to vaccination:

  • MASK-UP: Wear a face covering when with individuals outside your household.
  • BACK-UP: Keep at least 6 feet apart from others.
  • WASH-UP: Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for 20 seconds.
  • If you test positive for COVID-19, ask about monoclonal antibodies which can reduce the severity of the disease.

For more information:

For general questions about COVID-19, call the IDPH hotline at 1-800-889-3931

Joint News Release 12-17-21