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Sunday, May 16, 2021

“We are seeing a national surge” Pritzker says, four suburban Chicago counties enter new restrictions Friday

Region 7 and 8 will see additional mitigations beginning at the end of the week

CHICAGO – Four suburban Chicago counties will enter new mitigation restrictions beginning Friday. Those counties, including Kane, Dupage, Kankakee, and Will counties, have all averaged a rolling seven-day positivity rate of 8.0% or higher since Sunday.

“We are seeing a national surge of cases that is affecting every state around us in a dramatic way, and in Illinois, we are seeing the numbers go up, literally all across the state.” Gov. Pritzker said Tuesday.

“We are seeing the start of what is most likely a second wave,” Dr. Justin Macariola-Coad, Interm Chief Medical Officer at Advocate Aurora Sherman Hospital in Elgin said Tuesday afternoon. “Wisconsin is already surging and Northern Illinois is likely next. The actions we take today to slow the spread of the virus will define what happens in the coming weeks to months. Wearing a mask, washing your hands, and keeping a distance from one another will prevent the spread of this illness, and likely save lives.”

Among the new restrictions include a pause to indoor dining at bars and restaurants.

“On the call earlier today, they (local leaders) wanted to say ‘why do we keep going after bars and restaurants.’” Dr. Ngozi Ezike, Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health said addressing new restrictions among the regions. “So as we look from region to region to region, statewide data, we look at the places, this is again from contact tracing efforts, we have the individuals who have talked to the (contagious person).  The questions include looking back, where have they been in the previous 14 days?  That is where; those are the places where they have been where they could have caught the virus.  Then we look forward to the places where they have been and given the virus to others.”

Tuesday marked the 9th consecutive day of increases to Region 7’s rolling seven-day positivity levels. Regional positivity rates will have to drop to lower than 6.5% for three days before restrictions will be considered to be removed.

“When you look at the top three places that come up, region to region, statewide, it comes up as people’s workplace, it comes up as a school, and it comes up as restaurants and bars.”  Dr. Ezike said Tuesday. “So we’re not going to not have people go to school.  We’re letting local health departments and school administrators decide for themselves what’s appropriate regarding school.  In terms of the workplace, there are people who cannot work from home where they have to go to work. So the next thing we can act on is the bars and restaurants.”

“If we do not take these basic steps, we won’t be able to slow the spread of the pandemic and its potentially deadly consequences.” Dr. Macariola-Coad said. “We will put our front-line healthcare workers in danger as we head into this wintertime. So please help care for our communities across the northwest suburbs.”

The Governor did say the state is not considering another stay-at-home order at this time. “We’re going to continue with the plan that we’re on, which is a regional plan.” Gov. Pritzker said late Tuesday afternoon. “Most regions of the state continue to see increases in COVID related hospital admissions. As colder weather approaches, and flu season is upon us, we’re going to see the rippling effects of these current, unfortunate trends.”

Dr. Macariola-Coad reminded residents on Tuesday if you show mild symptoms of COVID-19, it’s better to remain quarantined and recover at home.

New restrictions announced by the State of Illinois 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% of overall room capacity

• No party buses

• Gaming and casinos close at 11:00pm, are limited to 25% capacity, and follow mitigations for bars and restaurants, if applicable 

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