CHICAGO (WLS) -- Suburban Cook County was added Friday to a list of Illinois counties now at a "warning" level for COVID-19 cases.
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Counties at the warning level could face new restrictions if more isn't done to slow the spread of the virus. There are now 30 counties at a warning level in Illinois.
COVID-19 numbers have been on the rise in suburban Cook County. The state has added Cook County to 29 other counties in the state at a warning level, meaning the county is exceeding two or more risk indicators for the spread of the virus.
County health officials say they believe the surge in cases is coming from large private gatherings where people fail to wear masks and observe social distancing.
"We're in the process of thinking about if we continue to remain in orange, maybe we then recommend further mitigation measures to be put in place throughout suburban Cook County," Cook County Medical Officer Dr. Rachel Rubin said.
The announcement comes at a difficult time for the county, with many schools returning to session. While many school districts are beginning the year remotely, this could set back hopes of returning to normal anytime soon.
Officials said they may also consider further restrictions on gyms with fitness classes and will work with the Illinois Restaurant Association on any new policies. It's bad news for restaurant owners or customers who are hoping for a return to normal.
"Every time they restrict our ability to do business, it obviously has a significant impact on our ability to pay the bills," said Marc Hoffman, with Ala Carte Restaurant Group.
Health officials said there is one bright spot: despite the increase in the number of cases, hospitalizations are not increasing.
Warning Level counties:
A map and information of each county's status can be found on the IDPH website.
Illinois reports 2,149 new COVID-19 cases, 20 deaths
Illinois health officials reported 2,149 new coronavirus cases and 20 additional deaths Friday.
The Illinois Department of Public Health now reports a total of 229,483 cases and 7,997 deaths in 102 counties in the state.
The statewide positivity rate for the period of August 21 - August 27 stands at 4.1%. Within the past 24 hours, laboratories have reported 48,383 specimens for a total of 3,924,305.
As of Thursday night, 1,546 people in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19. Of those, 352 patients were in the ICU and 132 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators.
The deaths include:
-Cook County: 1 male 60s, 1 female 70s, 1 male 70s, 1 female 80s, 2 male 80s
-DeKalb County: 1 male 70s, 1 male 80s
-Douglas County: 1 male 90s
-Greene County: 1 female 70s
-Iroquois County: 1 female 80s
-Jefferson County: 1 female 90s
-Jersey County: 1 female 70s, 1 female 80s
-Lake County: 1 male 20s
-Richland County: 1 male 90s
-Rock Island County: 1 male 80s
-Union County: 1 male 50s
-Will County: 1 female 70s
-Williamson County: 1 female 70s