Following Suburban Cook County by 2 Days, City of Chicago Goes to “Phase 4 with Mitigation Measures” with No Indoor Dining at Restaurants

Illustration, created by Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins, MAM at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Illustration, created by Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins, MAM at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

One day after the Illinois Department of Public Health announced “Phase 4 with Mitigation Measures” for suburban Cook County (Region 10) and for counties east of St. Louis “Metro East” (Region 4), the Illinois health officials announced similar additional restrictions for the City of Chicago (Region 11) starting Friday, October 30, 2020 at midnight. The increase in mitigations in Region 11 is triggered due to a sustained increase in its positivity rate as well as a sustained increase in COVID-related hospitalizations for more than seven of the past ten days.




According to “Restore Illinois” (the public health response to resolve the coronavirus pandemic), Phase 1 “Rapid Spread” is the worst phase and Phase 5 “Illinois Restored” is the best phase. Phase 4 is considered “Revitalized”, but with mitigations is a regressive move in the direction of Phase 3, which is considered “Recovery” … the mitigations are implemented to attempt to prevent the ultimate Phase 1 state of “Rapid Spread” of Coronavirus (COVID-19) illness.




The increase in mitigations in Chicago are identical to the mitigations going into effect two days prior for Region 10 (suburban Cook County) and Region 4 (counties of Bond, Madison, St. Clair, Clinton, Washington, Monroe, Randolph near St. Louis). The mitigations for Region 4 and Region 10 beginning Wednesday and Region 11 beginning Friday are known as “Tier 1” coronavirus mitigation measures outlined in the Restore Illinois plan.

The Mitigation measures (Tier 1) that take effect Friday, October 30, 2020 in Region 11 include:

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

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

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 currently apply to schools, fitness centers, or organized recreation or sports.

In the coming days, IDPH will continue to track the positivity rate and hospitalization data in both regions to determine if mitigations can be relaxed, if additional mitigations are required, or if current mitigations should remain in place, according to the IDPH.

According to data reported by the Illinois Department of Public Health Tuesday, October 27, 2020, Chicago posted increases in its 7-day COVID-19 positivity rate and hospital admissions for “COVID-19 like” illness over at least seven of the past 10 days, meeting the state’s criteria for additional mitigation measures to be put in place.

“We can’t ignore what is happening around us – because without action, this could look worse than anything we saw in the spring.”

— Gov. JB Pritzker

Data shows that Chicago is now averaging more than twice as many COVID-related hospital admissions per day as it was a month ago while the positivity rate has almost doubled since the beginning of October, 2020.

dph.illinois.gov/regionmetrics

The IDPH reported the 7-day positivity rate in Chicago reached 7.8% on October 24, 2020 and increased for eight of the previous 10 days. Regarding hospitalization, the 7-day average of coronavirus hospitalizations increased for seven consecutive days for the same period to 43 patients as of Saturday, October 24, 2020.

What Causes Illinois Region to Become More Restrictive? (Phase 4 with Mitigations)

Sustained increase in 7-day rolling average (7 out of 10 days) in the positivity rate …

AND ONE OF THE FOLLOWING:

Sustained 7-day increase (7 out of 10 days) in hospital admissions for a COVID-19 like illness

Reduction in hospital capacity threatening surge capabilities (ICU capacity or medical/surgical beds under 20%)

OR

Three consecutive days averaging greater than or equal to 8% positivity rate (7 day rolling)

“What we are starting to see now, first with suburban Cook County, and now with Chicago, is that mitigation measures are needed because COVID-19 hospital admissions are going up alongside increases in test positivity. Based on current trends, we soon could face reduced hospital bed availability and overwhelming our health care systems.”

— IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike

On Thursday, October 22, 2020, the City of Chicago had already banned indoor service at bars that don’t serve food, but now the state’s latest restrictions ban all indoor service.




The IDPH said “Phase 4 with Tier 1 Restrictions” will remain in effect in Chicago until all of the following conditions allow a return to Phase 4 (when Tier 1 Restrictions are considered to be “relaxed”):

The positivity rate in Region 11 averages less than or equal to 6.5% over a three-day period.

There is a decrease in hospital admissions for COVID-19 like illness over a three-day period.

The three-day rolling averages of ICU bed availability and medical/surgical bed availability is greater than or equal to 20% over a seven-day period, the region will return to Phase 4 (without Tier 1 mitigations) under the Restore Illinois Plan.

IDPH on October 27, 2020 reported the Medical Surgical Bed Availability (3-Day Rolling Average) was 25% and ICU Bed Availability (3-Day Rolling Average) was 32%. At dph.illinois.gov/regionmetrics, the IDPH doesn’t report the 7-Day Rolling Average for hospitalization.

 RELATED NEWS … 

CARDINAL NEWS | Resurgence Mitigation takes effect in Arlington Heights, Suburban Cook County (Region 10) on October 28, 2020 as Mitigation Moves from Phase 4 To “Phase 4 with Mitigation Measures”




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