Illinois IDPH Announce COVID-19 Resurgence Mitigations in Region 9

State Public Health Officials Announce COVID-19 Resurgence Mitigations to Take Effect in Region 9 on October 31, 2020

Eight of 11 Regions will Operate Under Resurgence Mitigation Framework; Administration Continues to Work with Local Officials, Health Departments to Prevent Further Spread

Chicago, IL (STL.News) 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.

The administration continues to work aggressively to support small businesses, distributing nearly $11 million in emergency grants and assistance to businesses and communities in Region 9 alone.  Businesses in Region 9, as well as other regions currently under additional mitigations, will receive priority consideration for the current round of Business Interruption Grants (BIG), with $220 million available to help offset costs and losses businesses have incurred as a result of the pandemic.

“As of this morning, Region 9 – Lake and McHenry Counties – has now sustained an average positivity rate of 8 percent or higher for three days – meaning that they will join seven of our 11 other regions in operating under resurgence mitigations,” said Governor JB Pritzker.  “So, beginning on Saturday at 12:01 a.m., public gatherings in Lake and McHenry counties will be reduced to 25 people, and indoor dining and indoor bar service will be temporarily closed – although outdoor service in tents and takeout, delivery and drive through service will remain available.  These resurgence mitigations aim to cut down on some of the highest high-risk activities until we bring down the positivity rate in a region once again.  I know this virus is hard on everyone.  But this battle isn’t going away by itself.  We have to manage our way through it with the tools we have available to us.  And there are many of those tools that nearly everyone in our state has available to join the fight.”

“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.”

Mitigation measures taking effect October 31 in Region 9 include:

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.

From the onset of the pandemic, support for small businesses has been one of the central features of the Pritzker administration’s COVID-19 response. Since March, the administration has launched a menu of small business and community relief programs – with over $500 million in grants and programs launched by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), including emergency hospitality grants, a downstate small business stabilization program, Fast Track Capital, and more. For more information on programs available for businesses and communities, please visit DCEO’s website.

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 today, 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.

As part of the administration’s robust response to the pandemic, the state continues to strengthen its nation-leading testing operation. 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.

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