* One of the things I was most concerned about back in March was that the coronavirus could potentially cripple essential services like power generating stations, water and other utility plants as well as first responders. If we as a people do not start taking this resurgence more seriously, we are in for a world of hurt…
Thirty-seven Springfield firefighters are currently quarantined due to COVID-19 and from this number, 12 firefighters have tested positive. Among those who have tested positive is Springfield Fire Chief Allen Reyne.
The majority of firefighters came in to contact with an individual who was asymptomatic at an outside gathering, not on work time. The individual was not a Springfield firefighter. Since receiving test results, any employee who was in direct contact with patient zero or any firefighter who has tested positive, have been sent to have a COVID-19 test and asked to follow the guidance provided by the testing facility including quarantining.
The outbreak has had no impact on their operations other than an increase in overtime. There is a total of 214 sworn Springfield firefighters with the department.
* From last Tuesday…
Springfield Mayor Jim Langfelder said today that he will defy the governor’s order and allow his city’s restaurants and bars to stay open with 25 percent indoor capacity. State mitigations forbid indoor dining and drinking because the IDPH region has surpassed an 8 percent positivity rate.
This same 25 percent strategy failed miserably in the Metro East when it was tried earlier this year, by the way. The mayor and county board chairman said they’ll be trying this policy out for a couple of weeks and then will reassess. It the county’s positivity rate is above 12 percent at that time, then the city and Sangamon County will drop its “phased approach.” Sangamon County’s average positivity rate is currently 9.8 percent.
In less than a week, the county’s seven-day positivity rate has jumped from 9.8 percent to 13.4 percent.
Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker today is expected to announce tighter restrictions on DuPage, Kane, Will and Kankakee counties because of escalating coronavirus cases and hospitalizations, a source confirmed this morning.
That will mean outdoor dining will be limited to six people per table instead of 10, and maximum allowable gatherings will be limited to 10 people instead of 25 in those areas.
In Region 8, which covers DuPage and Kane counties, positivity rates have been climbing for 10 straight days, and COVID-related hospitalizations have risen for eight straight days, according to Illinois Department of Public Health data.
The rolling positivity rate over seven days is now at 13.3% in those collar counties, the state is reporting.
*** UPDATE *** The governor also added southern Illinois’ Region 5 to the list of tighter mitigations.
…Adding… Press release…
Governor Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) are announcing additional COVID-19 mitigation efforts that will be implemented in Region 5 (Southern Illinois), Region 7 (Will and Kankakee counties), and Region 8 (Kane and DuPage counties), beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, November 11, 2020. These regions are seeing a test positivity rate that remains above 8 percent and continues to rise after more than 14-days under Tier 1 mitigations, which exceeds the threshold set for establishing additional mitigation measures under the state’s Restore Illinois Resurgence Plan.
Region 5 has been under Tier 1 of the state’s resurgence mitigation plan since October 22 and Regions 7 and 8 since October 23, after seeing a 7-day rolling average test positivity rate of 8 percent or above for three consecutive days. However, the positivity rate has continued to significantly increase in these regions. Beginning November 11, Regions 5, 7, and 8 will face additional mitigations, such as a tighter gathering cap of 10 individuals rather than 25 and new table caps of six rather than 10 when eating out.
“The situation has worsened considerably in certain areas of the state, with massive increases in the rates of community transmission specifically in three regions. As a result, Regions 5, 7 and 8 – that’s Southern Illinois, and Chicago’s South and Western Suburbs – will join Region 1, Northwestern Illinois, in Tier 2 of our resurgence mitigations starting Wednesday,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “Mitigations are only effective if they are followed. The end goal of mitigating the damage the virus is doing to people’s lives is this: keep as much of our economy and our schools as open as possible in a safe manner, and when risk rates in the community surge up, take meaningful action to bring things back down in order to protect ourselves and the people we love.”
“We continue to see COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths increase,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike. “Science tells us that when you are in close contact with someone, there is an increased risk for virus transmission. We must reduce the opportunities for the virus to spread. Only when the virus can no longer sustainably spread can we end this pandemic. It will take all of us working together, so please, be part of the solution and not the problem and help us reduce the risk of spread.”
For Regions 5, 7, and 8, additional mitigation measures taking effect November 11 include the following:
Bars and Restaurants
Reduce party size from 10 to six individuals
Meetings, Social Events and Gatherings
Maximum indoor/outdoor gathering size of 10 individuals
Applicable to professional, cultural and social group gatherings
This does not reduce the overall facility capacity dictated by general business guidance, such as office, retail, etc.
Not applicable to students participating in-person classroom learning
Not applicable to sports, see sports guidance
Organized Group Recreational Activities
Limit to lesser of 25 guests or 25 percent of overall room capacity both indoors and outdoors
Groups limited to 10 individuals or fewer
Does not apply to fitness centers
These mitigations do not apply to schools.