Illinois Gov. Pritzker rolls back coronavirus reopenings as case counts soarOctober 27, 2020
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Illinois Gov. J.B. Prtizker is imposing harsher restrictions in two additional regions as new coronavirus case counts soar.
Bars and restaurants in suburban Cook County and the Metro East region, near St. Louis, beginning Wednesday are prohibited from serving patrons indoors. In addition, large gatherings are now limited to 25 people. Cook County is home to Chicago.
The new measures mean six of 11 regions, home to 5.35 million people, or 42% of the state’s population, will soon have their economic reopenings rolled back.
“At the beginning of the pandemic, we were concerned about overwhelming our hospitals and we must take action now to prevent that possibility,” Illinois Director of Public Health Dr. Ngozi Ezike said at a press conference on Monday while flanking Pritzker. “We are entering flu season and our hospitals are facing both COVID-19 and flu admissions.”
Pritzker’s decision to impose further restrictions comes as the seven-day rolling average test positivity rate in those regions held at about the 8% level for at least three straight days. Hospitalizations in suburban Cook County have increased for seven consecutive days, making it the first region to reach the threshold for additional mitigations in that way.
The number of daily new COVID-19 cases in Illinois surged to a record 5,900 on Saturday. The state’s case count has reached nearly 379,000 while more than 9,500 people have died.
COVID-19 positivity rates are rising across the state, meaning Pritzker may soon impose tougher restrictions on other regions.
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Region 9, made up of Lake and McHenry Counties, recently saw its test positivity rate climb above the 8% threshold while Chicago’s was up to 7.7%.
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