The governor adds COVID-19 restrictions to southern Illinois, and warns that Chicago’s southern and western suburbs could be next

The governor adds COVID-19 restrictions to southern Illinois, and warns that Chicago's southern and western suburbs could be next

CHICAGO – Governor GB Pritzker said that additional measures will be taken to mitigate the Corona virus in southern Illinois after positivity rates there surpassed the “fail-safe” state level on Monday, while the western and southern suburbs of Chicago may be next.

Pritzker said: “Experts have predicted for months that the country may see a resurgence of the virus as temperatures drop and more people spend more time indoors.” “Here in Illinois, it looks like a new wave may befall us.”

The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 3,133 new cases of COVID-19 and 22 additional deaths linked to the Coronavirus on Monday, as cases are noticing a resurgence not only in Illinois but also across the country.

From October 12-18, the statewide positivity rate came in at 5.4 percent, and has remained near levels last seen in early June while the state’s weekly test average has more than tripled since then, according to data compiled by WGN.

Watch above: Governor J.B. Pritzker tackles rising COVID-19 across Illinois, and additional measures to mitigate coronavirus on Monday

State health officials said Friday that 34 counties in Illinois are meeting at least one of the state’s coronavirus “warning” levels, based on criteria that include the total number of cases, test-positive rates and the number of new cases compared to their population.

“Every district of the state is starting to move in the wrong direction: cases, positive rates, hospitalizations and deaths are rising statewide,” Pritzker said. “Thursday we set a record of cases identified in one day, then we broke that record on Friday.”

Pritzker said the Southern District created in the Illinois Restoration Plan reached a “safety measure” of a positive 7-day sustained coronavirus rate above 8 percent for three consecutive days on Monday, reporting a rate of 9.1 percent as of October 16.

New restrictions will be in place in the area starting Thursday, including bans on indoor dining and bar service and reductions in size restrictions for gatherings to a maximum of 25 people.

Pritzker said similar restrictions could be announced for the Western Suburbs and South Suburbs outside of Chicago “early tomorrow”.

“All of this is happening in a nationwide landscape of increasingly positive rates, and where most of our border states have been designated as national hotspots,” said Pritzker. “We cannot isolate Illinois from the troop surge, but we can take extra precautions and do a better job of others in pursuing mitigation measures that slow deployment.”

Health officials say a wide range of factors contribute to the rise in cases that are especially common among people in their 20s, including gatherings at people’s homes, events like weddings and funerals, customers returning to restaurants and bars, college-related parties and sporting events.

State guidelines say new COVID-19 restrictions such as lowering capacity limits in bars and restaurants should be in place if the 7-day positivity rate in a particular area remains above 8 percent for three consecutive days.

While it was stable for weeks, the 7-day positivity rate in the Western Suburban area including DuPage and Kane counties began to rise steadily from 4.9 percent on October 5 until it reached 8.4 percent on October 15, surpassing the 8 percent limit.

The rate remains above the limit for the second day in a row as of October 16, according to the latest data available on Monday, at 8.5 percent.

While the positivity rate was similarly stable in the South Suburban area that includes Kankakee and Weil counties, it rose steadily from 5.9 percent on October 9 to surpassing the 8 percent limit on October 15. It also remained above the limit for the second day in a row with the rate of 8.3 percent reported on Monday.

While 7-day positivity rates rose in both regions over the past week, the Western Suburban region saw an increase in the weekly test average, while the test remained relatively flat in the South Suburban area.

Both the South Suburban and West Suburban regions have seen a slight increase in the number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 over the past week, from eight to 16 and 17 to 20 cases respectively, although hospital resources in both regions are still within. State Guidelines.

While the number of hospital admissions rose to 2,096 COVID-19 patients as of Sunday, they remained within state guidelines, including 485 in intensive care and 179 on ventilators.

Additional restrictions also remain in effect across northwestern Illinois, where the 7-day positivity rate in that area remains at 11.1 percent as of data reported on Monday. Positivity rates in the region continued to rise after reaching the 8 percent threshold set by the country on September 25th.

As the state is seeing a rise in the spread of COVID-19, Pritzker said health officials and health care workers know “quite a lot” about how to deal with the disease. He said the state has also built up a stock of resources to tackle a wave of cases this fall or winter.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot warned residents Monday that restrictions could return if the city’s coronavirus numbers continue to rise. City health officials said that over the past two weeks, cases have risen more than 50 percent to more than 500 a day. This is the largest number of cases seen daily in Chicago since late May.

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