State Public Health Officials Announce COVID-19 Resurgence Mitigations to Take Effect in Region 11 on October 30, 2020 


Governor Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) are announcing COVID-19 resurgence mitigations will be implemented in Region 11, the City of Chicago, beginning at 12:01 am on Friday, October 30, 2020. Region 11 has triggered additional mitigations 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. These increases exceed the thresholds set for establishing mitigation measures under the state's Restore Illinois Resurgence Plan. Region 11 is the second of the state’s 11 regions to trigger additional mitigations based on sustained increases in positivity and hospitalization rates, the first being its neighbor, Region 10 (Suburban Cook County) earlier in the week.

Support for small businesses has been one of the central features of the Pritzker administration’s COVID-19 response. Thus far, nearly $33 million has been distributed in emergency grants and assistance to businesses and communities in Region 11 alone. Chicago businesses, as well as other regions currently under additional mitigations, will receive priority consideration for the current round of Business Interruption Grants (BIG), with $220 million available to help offset costs and losses businesses have incurred as a result of the pandemic.

“Region 11 is now averaging more than twice as many COVID-related hospital admissions per day as it was a month ago, with a positivity rate that has almost doubled since the beginning of October,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “So, starting on Friday the City, too, will begin operating under our resurgence metrics, with a closure of indoor restaurant and bar service and a restrained gathering cap limit of 25 people. We can’t ignore what is happening around us – because without action, this could look worse than anything we saw in the spring. So please, no matter where you live, what your politics are, where you work or who you love: Illinois: mask up! And we’ll get through this together.”

“When the first several regions started implementing mitigation measures, it was because the 7-day rolling test positivity was above 8% for three consecutive days,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike.  “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 system. Please, for our health care workers, yourself, and your community, keep distance between you and others, wash your hands, and always wear a mask when around people.”

Mitigation measures taking effect October 30 in Region 11 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 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 apply to schools or polling places.

From the onset of the pandemic, the administration has worked to prioritize distributing emergency relief for small businesses and communities impacted by COVID-19. Since March, the administration has launched a menu of small business and community relief programs – with over $500 million in grants and programs launched by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), including emergency hospitality grants, a downstate small business stabilization program, Fast Track Capital, and more. For more information on programs available for businesses and communities, please visit DCEO’s website.

In the coming days, IDPH will continue to track metrics in Region 11 to determine if mitigations can be relaxed, if additional mitigations are required, or if current mitigations should remain in place. If 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, 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 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.

As of today, including Region 11, seven of the state’s 11 regions have triggered one of the state’s failsafe state-action metric. By tomorrow, Regions 4, 5, 7, 8, and 10 will all operate under Tier 1 mitigation measures given that these regions continue to report a 7-day rolling positivity rate above 8%. Region 1 is currently operating under Tier 2 mitigation measures after continuing to see a rise in positivity even under the Tier 1 mitigation framework, now at a rolling positivity average of 12.5% as of this morning.

As part of the administration’s robust response to the pandemic, the state continues to strengthen its nation-leading testing operation. Testing remains readily available throughout Illinois. Chicago has state-run operations in Auburn Gresham that operate daily, in addition to the multiple free testing locations offered by the City of Chicago. In the past month alone, Regions 10 and 11 each reported an increase of roughly 50 percent in testing. The administration will continue to build upon this progress, given that testing remains a critical step to reduce further spread of the virus in communities. To find the nearest testing center, please visit DPH.Illinois.Gov/Testing.

IDPH will also continue to work closely with the Chicago Public Health Department (CDPH) to provide education to the public and offer information to businesses and organizations on safe ways to operate. The significance of face coverings, social distancing, and hand washing have been consistently emphasized by both the city and the state throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Additionally, concurrent updates to the Emergency Travel Order go into effect Friday. Under Public Health Order 2020-10, people coming from any designated states must quarantine for 14 days, with exceptions for essential workers. Stay up to date on the order, and see which states are listed, through chicago.gov/coronavirus.

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 at http://www.dceocovid19resources.com.  




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