Illinois COVID-19: IL reports 4,729 coronavirus cases, 17 deaths; Suburban Cook County restrictions announced

6 of 11 IL regions to have mitigations; long lines reported at drive-through testing sites
CHICAGO (WLS) -- Illinois officials announced new COVID-19 restrictions will be imposed on suburban Cook County as cases continue to surge statewide.

Officials announced that the restrictions, which include a ban on indoor restaurant service, will take effect at 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday for Region 10, which is suburban Cook County, as well as Region 4, the Metro East region near St. Louis.

See the full list of restrictions for suburban Cook County at the bottom of this article.

WATCH: Gov. Pritzker's COVID-19 briefing, October 26, 2020


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Watch Gov. JB Pritzker's COVID-19 briefing on October 26, 2020.


The announcement comes after Illinois public health officials announced 4,729 new cases of COVID-19, along with 17 additional deaths Monday.

More than half of Illinois' regions are now facing added COVID-19 restriction. Governor Pritzker said Monday that even those that aren't, are also trending in a bad direction.

"Starting Wednesday, six of our 11 Restore Illinois regions will be operating under our resurgence mitigation framework," Gov. JB Pritzker said. "There seems to be a COVID storm on the rise and we have to get prepared."

Cindy Summers, who owns Oak Park's Sugar Fixe Patisserie, said her small space forced her to shut down indoor dining entirely. She was hoping to resume that within the next week or two by expanding the bakery.

"I just signed the lease on the space next door and now I don't know if I made a bad decision or if I'll be able to use it later in the season," Summers said.

Businesses react to new COVID-19 mitigation measures


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The owner of Oak Park's Sugar Fixe Patisserie said new COVID-19 mitigation restrictions will force her to shut down indoor dining entirely.



Region 8, which includes DuPage and Kane counties, has the highest positivity rate in the Chicago area at 9.5%. Region 7, Will and Kankakee counties, is at 9.3% test positivity. The state's mitigation efforts started last Friday for both of those regions. Those same rollbacks take effect this Wednesday for Region 10, suburban Cook County, where the positivity rate stands at 7.7 percent.

The two Chicago area regions that are not under additional restrictions yet are 9 and 11. Region 11, which covers just Chicago, is at 7.7% positivity. The positivity rate in Region 9, Lake and McHenry counties, is 8.1%.

Over a 24-hour period, officials said the state processed 57,264 specimens for a total of 7,326,216. The seven-day positivity rate from Oct. 19 - 25 is 6.3%, the highest the rate has been since June 2.

For the first time, an increase in hospitalizations as well as cases, is to blame. As of Sunday night, 2,638 people were hospitalized in Illinois with COVID-19, with 589 in the ICU and 238 on ventilators.

"Cases, positivity, hospitalizations are all rising across the state of Illinois and we have got to reverse the trend," Gov. Pritzker said.

"If what we're seeing today does not reverse, we are on a path to see more than 11,000 deaths in Illinois this year," said Dr. Ngozi Ezike, director, Illinois Department of Public Health.

The total number of COVID-19 cases in Illinois now stands at 378,985, with 9,522 deaths, the Illinois Department of Public Health reported.

The deaths reported Monday include:

-Adams County: 1 female 80s
- Cook County: 1 male 30s, 1 male 50s, 1 female 60s, 1 male 60s, 1 female 70s, 1 male 70s, 2 female 80s, 2 male 80s, 1 female 90s, 1 male 90s
- Lake County: 1 female 90s
- Peoria County: 1 male 70s, 1 female 80s, 1 female 90s

According to IDPH, suburban Cook County (Region 10) has seen eight straight days of increases in test positivity and seven days of increased hospital admissions, triggering the mitigation restrictions. The restrictions do not apply to the city of Chicago.

While the number of ICU beds and ventilators is still not a concern, Rush University Medical Center epidemiologist Dr. Bala Hota said that trend begins with an increase in Emergency Room visits.

"There is a lag between people initially testing positive and there being an increase in cases, to people becoming potentially sick enough to need hospitalization, and that lag could be two weeks or longer," Dr. Hota said. "So I think it's a critical period over the next month to see what happens with these trends and what happens with hospitalizations overall."

At Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, there's been a 50-percent increase in hospital admissions in just the past two weeks. Though many of the patients have required supplemental oxygen, there has not been a dramatic rise in critically-ill patients - but some are concerned that's the next wave to hit.

"Right now those mostly have been patients that are not requiring ICU-level care, but we still do have some ICU patients that are quite sick," said Dr. Kevin Smith, chief medical officer at Loyola University Medical Center.

That rise in hospitalizations at Loyola is reflected throughout much of suburban Cook County, where officials say hospital admissions have increased for seven straight days and the test positivity rate has risen the last eight consecutive days.

"These numbers, these case numbers, the percent positivity - all that is making us worry for sure," Dr. Smith said.

Medical experts at Loyola expected a fall surge in COVID cases but thought it would be later in the season, perhaps in November. There's now concern we may be headed for a winter peak higher than initially anticipated.

Cindy Summers, who owns Oak Park's Sugar Fixe Patisserie, said her small space forced her to shut down indoor dining entirely. She was hoping to resume that within the next week or two by expanding the bakery.

"I just signed the lease on the space next door and now I don't know if I made a bad decision or if I'll be able to use it later in the season," Summers said.

New COVID-19 mitigations for suburban Cook County



Bars:


-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

Restaurants


-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
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