Upcoming returns to coronavirus mitigation measures established in the “Restore Illinois” plan are possible in the West Suburban and South Suburban regions of Chicago, as well as the Southern Region of Illinois (far south Illinois), as recent positivity rates remain above state limits as reported on Monday, October 19, 2020.
On Monday, October 19, 2020, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) reported 3,113 new COVID-19 cases and 22 additional coronavirus-related deaths in Illinois, while nearly every region of the state reported a continued rise in COVID-19 test positivity rates.
The statewide positivity rate from October 12-18 was 5.4 percent, reaching levels not reported since early June 2020.
According to State of Illinois guidelines, COVID-19 restrictions including lower capacity limits in bars and restaurants are to be put in place if the 7-day positivity rate in a region remains above 8 percent for three consecutive days.
While the positivity rate was stable for weeks, the 7-day positivity rate in the West Suburban Region (Region 8) consisting of DuPage County and Kane County began rising steadily from 4.9 percent on October 5 up to 8.4 percent on October 15, 2020.
On Friday, October 16, 2020 — the latest data available reported for Region 8 as of Monday, October 19, 2020 — the positivity rate was reported at 8.5 percent, which is the second consecutive day above 8 percent.
The positivity rate was also initially stable in the South Suburban region (Region 7), which consists of Kankakee County and Will County. However, the positivity rate rose steadily from 5.9 percent on October 9, 2020 to 8.2 percent on October 15, 2020. The positivity rate also remains above the limit for a second consecutive day with an 8.3 percent rate for Friday, October 16, 2020 reported Monday.
Both the West Suburban Region (Region 7) and the South Suburban Region (Region 8) have reported a slight increase in patients hospitalized with COVID-19 over the past week — from 17 to 20 cases in the West Suburban Region and 8 to 16 cases in the South Suburban Region. Hospital resources in both regions remain at a safe level above the risk level, according to state guidelines.
The 7-day rolling positivity rate in the Southern Region (Region 5) — the southern tip of Illinois — remained above the 8 percent limit for a third consecutive day (October 14/8.5%, October 15/9.1%, and October 16/9.1%) reported Monday, October 19, 2020. The results for the Southern Region, meet the state’s criteria for additional coronavirus mitigation measures to be put in place. Edwards County reported a 26.1 percent positivity rate on October 16, 2020, but White County just south of Edwards County reported only 5.1 percent, and had been as low as 2 percent on October 9, 2020, and holding but rising mostly in the 2 percent range through October 14, 2020.
Restrictions the Northwest Illinois (Region 1) continue as the 7-day positivity rate in that region was at 11.1 percent as of data reported Monday. Positivity rates in the region have continued to rise after reaching the state’s 8 percent limit on September 25, 2020. Region 1 has been 8 percent or higher since September 25, 2020.
Suburban Cook County (Region 10), including Arlington Heights and the northwest suburbs in Cook County, has been consistently rising since October 5, 2020 (4.0%) through October 15-16, 2020 (6.8%)
The City of Chicago (Region 11) has been consistently rising since October 9, 2020 (4.6%) through October 16, 2020 (6.2%). Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot warned residents Monday, October 19, 2020 that restrictions may return if coronavirus numbers in the city continue to rise.
On Friday, October 16, 2020, IDPH officials reported that 34 Illinois counties meet at least one of the state’s coronavirus “warning” levels, based on criteria including the total number of cases, test positivity rates, and the number of new cases compared to their population.
The IDPH declared the following factors that are likely credited as factors causing a rise in cases …
gatherings in people’s homes,
events like weddings and funerals,
customers returning to restaurants and bars,
college sports teams,
parties connected with universities and sporting events,
long-term care facilities,
correctional centers, and
Many of the factors are prevalent among people in their 20s. IDPH stated that public health officials are observing businesses blatantly disregarding mitigation measures, people not social distancing, people gathering in large groups, and people not using face coverings. The IDPH said mayors, local law enforcement, state’s attorneys, and other community leaders can be influential in ensuring citizens and businesses follow best practices.
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