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Lake and McHenry counties’ turn in mitigation

Wednesday, Oct 28, 2020

* As expected. From a press release…

Governor Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) are announcing COVID-19 resurgence mitigations will be implemented in Region 9, Lake and McHenry counties, beginning at 12:01 am on Saturday, October 31, 2020. Region 9 has seen a 7-day rolling average test positivity rate of 8 percent or above for three consecutive days, which exceed the thresholds set for establishing mitigation measures under the state’s Restore Illinois Resurgence Plan.

The administration continues to work aggressively to support small businesses, distributing nearly $11 million in emergency grants and assistance to businesses and communities in Region 9 alone. Businesses in Region 9, 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.

“As of this morning, Region 9 – Lake and McHenry Counties – has now sustained an average positivity rate of 8 percent or higher for three days – meaning that they will join seven of our 11 other regions in operating under resurgence mitigations,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “So, beginning on Saturday at 12:01 a.m., public gatherings in Lake and McHenry counties will be reduced to 25 people, and indoor dining and indoor bar service will be temporarily closed – although outdoor service in tents and takeout, delivery and drive through service will remain available. These resurgence mitigations aim to cut down on some of the highest high-risk activities until we bring down the positivity rate in a region once again. I know this virus is hard on everyone. But this battle isn’t going away by itself. We have to manage our way through it with the tools we have available to us. And there are many of those tools that nearly everyone in our state has available to join the fight.”

“With Region 9 being added to the list of regions in mitigation, we are getting close to the entire state implementing mitigation measures,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike. “This is not just a warning, but a call to action. We continue to move backwards, losing all the ground we had gained over the summer. We turned the state around once, let’s do it again. Limit your potential exposures by wearing a mask, physically distancing, and limiting in-person gatherings. It will take all of us working together to beat this virus.”

Mitigation measures taking effect October 31 in Region 9 include:


    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


    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, support for small businesses has been one of the central features of the Pritzker administration’s COVID-19 response. 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.

While all regions are seeing an increase in positivity rates, Region 9 has experienced sustained increases in both positivity and hospitalization rates. The region is currently seeing an 8.4 percent positivity average, an increase from 4.8 percent in September and from 3.1% percent in June. COVID-related hospital admissions have also surged, now three times as high as September and five times as high as June.

As of today, including Region 9, a total of eight of the state’s 11 regions have triggered one of the state’s failsafe state-action metric. Currently, Regions 4, 5, 7, and 8 are operating under Tier 1 mitigation measures given that these regions continue to report a 7-day rolling positivity rate above 8 percent. Regions 10 and 11 will soon operate under Tier 1 mitigations given that these regions triggered additional mitigations based on sustained increases in both positivity and hospitalization rates. 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, with the highest rolling positivity average in the state.

In the coming days, IDPH will continue to track the positivity rate in Region 9 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 9 averages less than or equal to 6.5 percent 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 percent 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 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, as the state continues to average more than 70,000 tests per day. The administration will 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 continue to work closely with local health departments in Lake and McHenry counties to provide education to the public and offer information to businesses and organizations on safe ways to reopen. The significance of face coverings, social distancing, and hand washing have been consistently emphasized by the administration throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

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

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - DownStateR - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 11:28 am:

    Do the 25% gathering capacity limits apply to churches?

  2. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 11:29 am:

    ===apply to churches===

    No. Try to keep up or use the Google. Churches were exempted months ago.

  3. - Illinois dentist - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 11:42 am:

    Hopefully, he’ll be direct on what this means for Illinois’ dentists. Last time, he made it up as he went along.

    He wasn’t in agreement with his own health department.

  4. - Southern - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 11:48 am:

    Will be interesting to see the levels of compliance and enforcement in northern counties.

  5. - Joe Schmoe - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 12:08 pm:

    Gonna be a busy weekend in Wisconsin….

  6. - Google Is Your Friend - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 12:10 pm:

    - Illinois dentist - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 11:42 am:

    Please learn to read. IDPH recommended ceasing routine oral care and performing emergency oral care only. This was a recommendation, not a mandate. This was the same recommendation as the Illinois State Dental Society. On May 11, IDPH recommended going back to routine oral care. Hopefully you are a better dentist than you are reader and critical thinker.

  7. - GC - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 12:34 pm:

    I think it’s perfectly reasonable that someone would see “schools and polling places are exempted” and ask “what about churches?” This isn’t the Governor’s press pool where people should know better (thank god or Amy Jacobson would be here). The State has put out plenty of conflicting guidance over the whole arc; they are doing a good job of communicating but some of the publications could do better and I think this is an indicator of that.

  8. - Pundent - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 12:37 pm:

    Unless you’re practicing dentistry inside of a restaurant or bar, I think you’ll be ok.

  9. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 1:12 pm:

    ===I think it’s perfectly reasonable that someone would see===

    Google is free and easy. This is not Google. If you’re too lazy to look it up yourself, I’d rather you not post anything here.

  10. - Illinois dentist - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 1:19 pm:

    “IDPH recommended ceasing routine oral care and performing emergency oral care only.”

    In all fairness, in the span of 8 hours, this Spring, we were under 3 different directives. First the IDPH rules, then the Governor’s pronouncements, and then the IDPH rules as the Governor walked back his words.

    You’ll excuse us if we are a bit confused. Our Governor certainly was.

  11. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 1:20 pm:

    === then the Governor’s pronouncements===

    Comments at a press conference have no legal weight.

  12. - Illinois dentist - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 1:28 pm:

    “Comments at a press conference have no legal weight. ”

    Patients and employees don’t tend to read IDPH guidelines. But they do watch the news when the Governor makes a pronouncement.

  13. - Skippy - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 1:34 pm:

    If we have google why do we need you?

  14. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 1:52 pm:

    ===If we have google why do we need you?===

    I ain’t your errand boy. And if you really feel that way, then go. I’ll happily help. And if you’re joking, this isn’t the best week for that.

  15. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 1:54 pm:

    ===Patients and employees===

    You’re neither. Move along.

  16. - PrairieChicken - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 2:46 pm:

    Has anyone brought up the idea that sit down restuarants are different from bars in that people typically sit a table in a restuarant and don’t mingle whereas if you go to a bar the point is really to mingle and meet people you may not already know? Every independent restuarant in Illinois is going to go under if this keeps up through the Winter months.

  17. - Dee Lay - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 2:53 pm:

    “Gonna be a busy weekend in Wisconsin….”

    Play stupid games, win stupid prizes like long-term health issues and potentially killing your friends and neighbors.

    But whatever, its a hoax that will disappear on Nov. 4 right?

  18. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 4:12 pm:

    ==employees don’t tend to read IDPH guidelines.==

    Man, if you’re a dentist remind me not to visit your dental office.

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