Lake and McHenry next counties to fall to tighter COVID restrictions

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COVID

Restrictions on dining, gatherings, take effect on Saturday, Oct. 31

Information provided by the Governor’s Office

CHICAGO, Ill. (October 28, 2020) – Governor Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) are announcing COVID-19 resurgence mitigations will be implemented in Region 9, Lake and McHenry counties, beginning at 12:01 am on Saturday, October 31, 2020. Region 9 has seen a 7-day rolling average test positivity rate of 8 percent or above for three consecutive days, which exceed the thresholds set for establishing mitigation measures under the state’s Restore Illinois Resurgence Plan.

“With Region 9 being added to the list of regions in mitigation, we are getting close to the entire state implementing mitigation measures,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike.  “This is not just a warning, but a call to action. We continue to move backwards, losing all the ground we had gained over the summer. We turned the state around once, let’s do it again. Limit your potential exposures by wearing a mask, physically distancing, and limiting in-person gatherings. It will take all of us working together to beat this virus.”

Region 9 mitigation measures—Oct. 31

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 apply to schools or polling places.

While all regions are seeing an increase in positivity rates, Region 9 has experienced sustained increases in both positivity and hospitalization rates. The region is currently seeing an 8.4 percent positivity average, an increase from 4.8 percent in September and from 3.1% percent in June. COVID-related hospital admissions have also surged, now three times as high as September and five times as high as June.

As of Wednesday, including Region 9, a total of eight of the state’s 11 regions have triggered one of the state’s failsafe state-action metric. Currently, Regions 4, 5, 7, and 8 are operating under Tier 1 mitigation measures given that these regions continue to report a 7-day rolling positivity rate above 8 percent. Regions 10 and 11 will soon operate under Tier 1 mitigations given that these regions triggered additional mitigations based on sustained increases in both positivity and hospitalization rates. Region 1 is currently operating under Tier 2 mitigation measures after continuing to see a rise in positivity, even under the Tier 1 mitigation framework, with the highest rolling positivity average in the state.

In the coming days, IDPH will continue to track the positivity rate in Region 9 to determine if mitigations can be relaxed, if additional mitigations are required, or if current mitigations should remain in place. If the positivity rate in Region 9 averages less than or equal to 6.5 percent 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 percent 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 seven out of 10 days and the hospital admissions for COVID-19 like illness continues to increase over seven out of 10 days, more stringent mitigations can be applied. If the metrics remain stable, the region will continue to be monitored.

Testing remains readily available throughout Illinois, as the state continues to average more than 70,000 tests per day. The administration will build upon this progress, given that testing remains a critical step to reduce further spread of the virus in communities. To find the nearest testing center, please visit DPH.Illinois.Gov/Testing.

IDPH will continue to work closely with local health departments in Lake and McHenry counties to provide education to the public and offer information to businesses and organizations on safe ways to reopen. The significance of face coverings, social distancing, and hand washing have been consistently emphasized by the administration throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

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.

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