Gov. Pritzker announces stricter restrictions for Chicago as COVID-19 cases rise

Local News

HAZEL CREST, Ill. (WTVO) — Illinois Gov. JB 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.

“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 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 systems.  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.”

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.

IDPH today reported 4,000 new confirmed cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Illinois, including 46 additional deaths.

Currently, IDPH is reporting a total of 382,985 cases, including 9,568 deaths, in 102 counties in Illinois. The age of cases ranges from younger than one to older than 100 years.  The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity for cases as a percent of total test from October 20 – October 26 is 6.4%. 

Within the past 24 hours, laboratories have reported 62,074 specimens for a total 7,388,290.  As of last night, 2,758 people in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19.  Of those, 595 patients were in the ICU and 241 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators.

The governor got into a heated exchange with a reporter who asked a question about businesses who were frustrated with a lack of help from the state, and who referenced some residents’ lack of faith in contact tracing.

“I would appreciate it if you would spend a little more time promoting people wearing masks. Promoting people doing the right thing in this very difficult time when people are dying and getting sick. And a little less time sort of ‘ginning up’  the idea that this is a hoax and giving a people platform for the idea that this is some sort of conspiracy,” Pritzker said. “I just want to point out everyday not you ask question after question, trying to find some thing that might have been done wrong along the way.  And the reality is we’re all trying very hard to get this right. All across the country. Every state is fighting this right now. Can you not see that?”

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