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State to Implement Additional Mitigation Measures in Suburban Cook County
FOREST PARK - Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and the Cook County Department of Public Health (CCDPH) today confirmed new mitigation measures issued by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) for public areas in suburban Cook County, including restaurants, retail establishments and other settings. The measures will go into effect Wednesday, Oct. 28, at 12:01 a.m.
Increasing positivity rates and hospitalizations triggered the Illinois Department of Public Health to move Region 10 from a designation of blue to orange, indicating warning signs of increased COVID-19 risk, per the Restore Illinois Resurgence Mitigations Plan, which uses a standardized approach to monitor the state as a whole, while also monitoring regional trends.
“We have seen eight days of increases in test positivity and seven days of increased hospital admissions,” said CCDPH Co-Lead and Senior Medical Officer Dr. Rachel Rubin. “The positivity rate is now 7.7%, up from 7.2% last week. Metrics like these prompted the state to mandate Tier 1 Resurgence Mitigations, similar to other counties with increased transmission.”
“Yesterday the state reported over 4,000 new cases of COVID-19 in a 24-hour period. The numbers are very concerning and a wake-up call as we head into colder weather, flu season and the holidays,” said President Preckwinkle. “We are all experiencing COVID fatigue, but we must remain vigilant and continue practicing the commonsense strategies that have been proven to slow the spread of COVID-19 and save lives.”
“Our mitigation measures are responsive to the data, which is showing higher rates among people under age 30," said Dr. Rubin. “Everyone is at risk, including young people. While they tend not to get as sick from COVID-19, they can still become seriously ill and spread the infection to their grandparents, co-workers, family, and friends.”
Recent studies have shown when people gather indoors to drink and eat at parties, bars, or restaurants they are more likely to become lax in following physical distancing and masking guidelines.
“And taking the party home isn’t necessarily safer,” said Cook County Department of Public Health Co-Lead and Senior Medical Officer Dr. Kiran Joshi. “People are exposed to the virus and are bringing it home to their families and friends. As tempting as it may be to celebrate Halloween with friends, even small gatherings pose significant risk – especially for loved ones who may be more vulnerable to serious illness.”
CCDPH serves all of suburban Cook County, excluding Evanston, Oak Park, Skokie and Stickney Township, which have their own state-certified health departments. Together, these five health departments comprise Region 10.
Suburban Cook County Mitigations
The following mitigations have been issued by IDPH and will be enforceable by CCDPH and law enforcement:
Bars and restaurants:
Meetings, social events and gatherings:
Organized group recreational activities & gyms (fitness centers, sports, etc.):
In addition to the required mitigations above, CCDPH reminds residents of the Continued Mitigation Strategies that were recommended by the department on August 3:
For more information, visit the Cook County ShinyApp for CCDPH data, and the IDPH Regional COVID Resurgence Criteria webpage for Region 10 data. For the most frequently asked questions by businesses regarding Phase 4 guidelines and the mitigation measures, visit the Illinois Department of Commerce of Economic Opportunity (DCEO) website.
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