* Jamie Munks and Dan Petrella at the Tribune covered House GOP Leader Jim Durkin’s press conference today…
“I just went through DuPage County (data) for the month of October, and there’s not one case … that they can relate that goes back to restaurants,” Durkin said.
Chris Hoff, director of community health resources at the DuPage County Health Department, said last week that the department’s data has been widely misconstrued in arguing against restrictions on restaurants and bars.
While it’s true only a small percentage of outbreaks have been connected to specific eating and drinking establishments, only about 15% of the county’s more than 22,000 cases at the time had been tied to any specific location through contact tracing interviews with people who test positive.
“All of this information is based on those interviews with people, which means that information is only as good as the information we can get,” Hoff said, adding that the county has an ongoing campaign to encourage more people to answer the phone when tracers call.
Even when people do participate, it’s often difficult to pinpoint where they contracted the virus, he said.
“We know that the environments that promote transmission are indoor settings where there are large numbers of people who spend extended periods of time together without masks,” Hoff said. “And so bars and restaurants definitely fit the bill, along with a lot of other indoor venues.”