COVID-19 restrictions tighten in suburban Cook County

980
COVID-19 restrictions

Starting Wednesday, October 28: gatherings limited to 25 people, indoor dining banned

Information provided by the Governor’s Office

LANSING, Ill. (October 26, 2020) – On Monday, Illinois Governor Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) announced that COVID-19 restrictions would tighten in Regions 4 and 10 beginning at 12:01 am on Wednesday, October 28, 2020. Region 4 encompasses Metro East, and Region 10 includes Suburban Cook County.

Region 10 has had eight consecutive days of increases in test positivity and seven days of increased hospital admissions making it the first region in the state to meet the metrics for additional mitigations in this way and surpass warning levels in two categories simultaneously. The sustained increases seen in the regions exceed the thresholds set for establishing mitigation measures under the state’s Restore Illinois Resurgence Plan. Region 4 has had a 7-day rolling average test positivity rate of 8 percent or above for three consecutive days.

COVID-19 restrictions reinstated on Wed., Oct. 28

Bars

  • No indoor service
  • All outside bar service closes at 11:00 p.m.
  • All bar patrons should be seated at tables outside
  • No ordering, seating, or congregating at bar (bar stools should be removed)
  • Tables should be 6 feet apart
  • No standing or congregating indoors or outdoors while waiting for a table or exiting
  • No dancing or standing indoors
  • Reservations required for each party
  • No seating of multiple parties at one table

Restaurants

  • No indoor dining or bar service
  • All outdoor dining closes at 11:00 p.m.
  • Outside dining tables should be 6 feet apart
  • No standing or congregating indoors or outdoors while waiting for a table or exiting
  • Reservations required for each party
  • No seating of multiple parties at one table

Meetings, Social Events, Gatherings

  • Limit to lesser of 25 guests or 25 percent of overall room capacity
  • No party buses
  • Gaming and Casinos close at 11:00 p.m., are limited to 25 percent capacity, and follow mitigations for bars and restaurants, if applicable

These mitigations do not currently apply to schools.

COVID-19 restrictions in Lansing

The reinstated COVID-19 restrictions will impact Lansing restaurants and bars, many of which had achieved a new normal since the pandemic first shook up their operations in March. Local eateries will now be prohibited from hosting guests indoors at a time when the increasingly cold weather makes outdoor seating a near impossibility.

The Lansing Area Chamber of Commerce luncheon, scheduled for November 11, “most likely will not take place now,” according to Chamber Director Amy Todd.

“Your communities will need your help once again,” Todd said on her personal Facebook page. “Please support your local restaurants and bars in any way possible. The first time was hard enough, the second time around may be detrimental.”

Village Communications Director Ken Reynolds said on Monday afternoon that Fox Pointe Halloween arrangements would still take place this week and on the weekend. Because the events are outdoors, COVID-19 restrictions at this point will not directly impact them. Scarecrow viewing is open every night this week from 6–8 p.m. On October 31, a trick-or-treat event is planned.

Hundreds attended the Oct. 24 Promenade at the Pointe event and seemed glad for an opportunity to safely socialize.

Battle pandemic fatigue

“We are seeing test positivity across the state increase, but for Region 10, Suburban Cook County, we are also seeing a steady increase in hospitalizations for COVID-like illness,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike. “At the beginning of the pandemic, we were concerned about overwhelming our hospitals, and we must take action now to prevent that possibility. We are entering flu season and our hospitals are facing both COVID-19 and flu admissions. The same things that can help prevent the spread of COVID-19 will help prevent the spread of flu. Please, wash your hands, watch your distance, and wear your mask. And make sure to get your flu shot.”

Governor Pritzker said that bringing back the COVID-19 restrictions in Regions 4 and 10 means that, starting Wednesday, 6 of 11 regions in Illinois will be operating under the resurgence framework. Pritzker also said that Region 10 is the first region in Illinois “to earn additional mitigations not because of its positivity rate alone, but because its positivity rate and its COVID-related hospitalizations have both seen a sustained increase over the last 10 days.”

In the coming days, IDPH will continue to track the positivity rate in both regions to determine if COVID-19 restrictions can be relaxed, if additional mitigations are required, or if current mitigations should remain in place. If the positivity rate in Region 10 averages less than or equal to 6.5% over a three-day period, there is a decrease in hospital admissions for COVID-19-like illness over a three-day period, and the three-day rolling averages of ICU bed availability and medical/surgical bed availability is greater than or equal to 20% over a seven-day period, the region will return to Phase 4 mitigations under the Restore Illinois Plan. Conversely, if the average positivity rate continues to increase over 7 out of 10 days, and the hospital admissions for COVID-19-like illness continues to increase over 7 out of 10 days, more stringent mitigations can be applied. If the metrics remain stable, the region will continue to be monitored.

Illinois is averaging more than three times the testing than the average state. Testing is readily available throughout the state, and the vast majority of test results are returned within an actionable period. Moving forward, testing remains a critical step to reduce the spread of the virus, given that a positive test result begins the contact tracing process and can prevent further spread in communities.

A full list of mitigation measures pertaining to some businesses and industries may be found on the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) website at www.dceocovid19resources.com/restore-illinois.

Related