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”

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).

Late October Mitigations Do NOT Apply to Schools, Fitness Centers

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) announced Monday, October 26, 2020 that COVID-19 resurgence mitigations will take effect in Region 4 and Region 10 as of 12:01 a.m. on October 28, 2020. Arlington Heights is included in region 10 with suburban Cook County. Essentially the Phase 4 mitigations move in the direction of Phase 3, but are known as “Phase 4 with Mitigations.”




Region 10 has had eight consecutive days of increases in test positivity and seven days of increased hospital admissions making it the first region in the state to meet the metrics for additional mitigations in this way and surpass warning levels in two categories simultaneously. Other regions have met the criteria by showing three consecutive days of Test Positivity 7-Day Rolling Average greater than or equal to 8.0 percent. The sustained increases seen in the Region 4 and Region 10 exceed the thresholds set for establishing mitigation measures under the state’s Restore Illinois Resurgence Plan.

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)

Mitigations are applied on a regional basis based on the eleven Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Regions that have traditionally guided IDPH in its statewide public health work. Expanding to the eleven regions allows for a more granular approach (having highly detailed with smaller distinct parts) in this phase of the response to COVID-19. The new regions follow county lines to account for counties that are in more than one region of the EMS system.

“We are seeing test positivity across the state increase, but for Region 10, Suburban Cook County, we are also seeing a steady increase in hospitalizations for COVID-like illness. “At the beginning of the pandemic, we were concerned about overwhelming our hospitals and we must take action now to prevent that possibility. We are entering flu season and our hospitals are facing both COVID-19 and flu admissions. The same things that can help prevent the spread of COVID-19 will help prevent the spread of flu. Please, wash your hands, watch your distance, and wear your mask. And make sure to get your flu shot.”

— IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike

On Monday, October 26, 2020, the IDPH reported that Medical Surgical Bed availability was at 26 percent while ICU Bed Availability was reported at 32 percent in Region 10. The past three days of Test Positivity 7-Day Rolling Average starting with the most recent observation has been 7.7, 7.7 and 7.5 percent. The most recent Daily Test Positivity was reported at 6.3 percent.

The Mitigation measures that take effect October 28, 2020 in Regions 4 and 10 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 both indoors and outdoors
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 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.




If the positivity rate in Region 10 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, AND 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 the additional 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.

In addition to testing, IDPH continues to monitor each region in the state for several key indicators to identify early, but significant increases of COVID-19 transmission in Illinois, potentially signifying resurgence. Indictors include an increase in the region’s positivity rate with a simultaneous increase in either hospital admissions for COVID-like-illness or a decrease in hospital capacity, or three consecutive days of greater than or equal to 8% test positivity rate (7-day rolling average). These indicators can be used to determine whether additional community mitigation interventions are needed for a region to prevent the further spread of COVID-19.




The news release states a full list of mitigation measures pertaining to some businesses and industries may be found on the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) website.

Oddly, there is no link to the Resurgence Mitigation document from the front page of the IDPH website or the front page of the governor’s coronavirus website; but a release is posted in the news section entitled “State Public Health Officials Announce COVID-19 Resurgence Mitigations to Take Effect in Regions 4 and 10 on October 28, 2020.” Unfortunately that release does not disclose the full information of the Mitigation Resurgence. In the news release, the document states the mitigations do NOT apply to schools, but makes no mention of organized recreation, organized sports or fitness centers. A confused Illinois resident or business owner would need to visit the Illinois Department of Commerce website to find an undated PDF file that describes more specific details about the resurgence mitigation at https://dceocovid19resources.com/assets/Restore-Illinois/COVID-19-Resurgence-Migitations.pdf. The October 26, 2020 release does not even link to the more detailed Resurgence Mitigation document. Furthermore, in the PDF filename of the Resurgence Mitigation document, the word “mitigation” is spelled wrong (“migitation”).




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