Newswise — MAYWOOD, IL – Loyola University Medical Center recently discharged the 2,000th patient successfully treated for COVID-19 since the pandemic began in March 2020. Kevin Smith, MD, MBA, chief medical officer at Loyola University Medical Center was struck by the milestone. "It made me feel very proud. At the same time, it made me realize that this is not over yet." Overall, Loyola Medicine's three regional hospitals, Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, Gottlieb Memorial Hospital in Melrose Park and MacNeal Hospital in Berwyn, have discharged over 5,000 COVID-19 patients.

Yesterday, the Illinois Department of Health announced the Omicron variant was detected in a Chicago resident who was fully vaccinated with a booster dose. They are not hospitalized. Richard K. Freeman, MD, MBA, FACS, regional chief clinical officer for Loyola Medicine says that while there is a lot to learn about Omicron, it does not appear to be more virulent than Delta. "Omicron appears to be mitigated by the vaccine. It usually doesn't make you sick to the point that you have to be in the hospital unless you have an underlying condition."

This news comes at a time of increased COVID-19 hospitalizations across Loyola Medicine. During the first week of December 2021, thirty-five patients with COVID-19 were admitted to Loyola University Medical Center, an increase of 169% over the same period last month. Nearly half of current COVID-19 patients are asymptomatic and receiving treatment for other conditions. "That means COVID is becoming more prevalent right now in the community," Dr. Smith noted. "And that does make me worry about what the rest of the month is going to look like."

Loyola Medicine has processed over a quarter-million COVID-19 tests. Currently, the positivity rate at Loyola University Medical Center is 9.2% for December 2021 compared to 5.2% in November 2021. As people prepare to gather for the holidays, Dr. Freeman advises, "Keep the gathering small. Wear masks if you're indoors for prolonged periods. Keep it to vaccinated people if at all possible. The majority of folks who do end up in the hospital right now are unvaccinated. The vaccine is protective. Everyone should get it."

Loyola Medicine has provided vaccinations for over 130,000 patients and colleagues.




About Loyola Medicine

Loyola Medicine, a member of Trinity Health, is a nationally ranked academic, quaternary care system based in Chicago's western suburbs. The three-hospital system includes Loyola University Medical Center, Gottlieb Memorial Hospital and MacNeal Hospital, as well as convenient locations offering primary care, specialty care and immediate care services from more than 1,800 physicians throughout Cook, Will and DuPage counties. Loyola is a 547-licensed-bed hospital in Maywood that includes the William G. & Mary A. Ryan Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine, the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, a Level 1 trauma center, Illinois's largest burn center, a certified comprehensive stroke center and a children’s hospital. Loyola also trains the next generation of caregivers through its academic affiliation with Loyola University Chicago’s Stritch School of Medicine and Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing. Gottlieb is a 247-licensed-bed community hospital in Melrose Park with the newly renovated Judd A. Weinberg Emergency Department, the Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care and the Loyola Cancer Care & Research facility at the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Center. MacNeal is a 374-licensed-bed teaching hospital in Berwyn with advanced medical, surgical and psychiatric services, acute rehabilitation, an inpatient skilled nursing facility and a 68-bed behavioral health program and community clinics. Loyola Medical Group, a team of primary and specialty care physicians, offers care at over 15 Chicago-area locations. For more information, visit You can also follow Loyola Medicine on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter.


About Trinity Health

Trinity Health is one of the largest multi-institutional Catholic health care delivery systems in the nation, serving diverse communities that include more than 30 million people across 22 states. Trinity Health includes 92 hospitals, as well as 100 continuing care locations that include PACE programs, senior living facilities, and home care and hospice services. Its continuing care programs provide nearly 2.5 million visits annually. Based in Livonia, Mich., and with annual operating revenues of $18.8 billion and assets of $30.5 billion, the organization returns $1.3 billion to its communities annually in the form of charity care and other community benefit programs. Trinity Health employs about 123,000 colleagues, including 6,800 employed physicians and clinicians. Committed to those who are poor and underserved in its communities, Trinity Health is known for its focus on the country's aging population. As a single, unified ministry, the organization is the innovator of Senior Emergency Departments, the largest not-for-profit provider of home health care services — ranked by number of visits — in the nation, as well as the nation’s leading provider of PACE (Program of All Inclusive Care for the Elderly) based on the number of available programs. For more information, visit You can also follow Trinity Health on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter.