Illinois COVID-19: IL reports 12,657 new cases, 145 deaths; officials warn residents to stay home as much as possible over next 3 weeks

Illinois reports deadliest day since May as tighter restrictions begin in 4 suburban counties
DOWNERS GROVE, Ill. (WLS) -- Illinois public health officials are calling on residents to stay home as the state reported a record 12,657 new and probable COVID-19 cases Wednesday along with 145 additional deaths.

The total number of cases in Illinois now stands at 523,840 with a total of 10,434 deaths. The number of additional deaths reported Wednesday is the highest in one day since 160 deaths were reported on May 27.

WATCH: Illinois public health officials urge residents to stay home during next 3 weeks


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As COVID-19 cases surge, the Illinois Department of Public Health is calling on people to stay home as much as possible for the next three weeks.



The Illinois Department of Public Health is calling on residents to work from home if possible, to only leave their homes for essential activities - such as grocery shopping, visiting a pharmacy or getting a COVID-19 test - to limit travel especially to areas experiencing high positivity rates, and limit gatherings - even small groups - that mix households.

And for now, they are recommendations. It's not a stay-at-home order, which in recent days, Gov. Pritzker has said he does not want to impose. But if these recommendations don't turn the tide, some wonder what's next?

"We need this because our healthcare systems are becoming overloaded very quickly," said Dr. Susan Bleasdale, UI Health medical director for infection prevention.

Dr. Bleasdale said UI Health has seen a dramatic rise in seriously-ill patients, including those requiring ventilators.

"We're seeing record numbers, and we're seeing this increase, and likely this is going to be even worse than we saw in March and April," she said.

Adding that we are at a critical point right now in slowing the spread of the virus, Dr. Bleasdale said if people follow the new recommendations and wear masks when they do go out, it could prevent the need for a broader mandate.

At a ribbon cutting for the new Chicago Veterans Home Wednesday, Governor JB Pritzker turned his focus to the continuing surge in COVID-19 cases and deaths.

"I want to remind everybody how deadly this virus is," Gov. Pritzker said. "It hasn't abated, it hasn't changed, it's out there."

The recommendations are timed with an eye on the upcoming holidays.

"If you gather with people that are outside your household that have had some interactions themselves outside of their household, there's a risk of COVID and so it's really important to protect our family and our loved ones during the holidays," Dr. Bleasdale said.

Those same concerns prompted the state legislature to cancel the veto session that was scheduled for next week.

Gov. JB Pritzker continues to threaten more mitigations as he blamed communities and businesses disregarding those in place.

"Well, we're certainly looking at statewide mitigations," Gov. Pritzker said. "I do think local governments though right now, if they are not imposing new mitigations and enforcing the ones that are already in place, they're doing it wrong."

The new recommendations to limit activity outside the home come as Illinois recorded its deadliest day since May. Only four days during the pandemic have been deadlier.

Fifty of the death reported Wednesday were in Cook County and include people in their 20s, 30s, and 40s.

With deaths rising sharply, refrigerated trailers have been re-deployed to some hospitals in Cook County by the medical examiner's office.

"This is something that we did during the first surge, and they were definitely utilized unfortunately, and we anticipate that they'll need to be utilized during this surge as well," said Natalia Derevyanny, spokesperson for the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office.

Over a 24-hour period, officials said the state processed 93,464 specimens for a total 8,664,483.

The preliminary seven-day statewide test positivity from Nov. 4 to Nov. 10 is 13.6%.

As of Tuesday night, 5,042 patients were hospitalized with COVID-19, with 951 in the ICU and 404 patients on ventilators.

WATCH: Stricter COVID-19 restrictions take effect in 4 suburban counties


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Stricter COVID-19 restrictions are now in effect in DuPage, Kane, Kankakee and Will counties.



Governor JB Pritzker's Tier 2 COVID-19 restrictions take effect in four suburban Chicago counties Wednesday as coronavirus cases continue to rise across the state.

The Tier 2 restrictions are now in effect for DuPage, Kane, Kankakee and Will counties.

There's still no indoor dining and for outdoor dining, the party size is now reduced from ten to six people.

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The limit for meetings and social events has been reduced to 10 people Telework, including working from home, is encouraged when possible.

Recreational activities, both indoor and outdoor, are now reduced to 25 people, with groups limited to 10. This affects organized sports, but not gyms.

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Schools are not impacted by the mitigation. For the full list of Tier 2 mitigations, see the end of this story.

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Sam Vlahos, restaurant owner of Pierce Tavern, gets ready for outdoor dining in winter during the colder months, the new restrictions are more bad news for him and his employees, with no end in sight.

"It's round two all over again," Vlahos said. "No government funding, no PPP money. This is going to be a lot worse than it was last time around. I mean, it's going to be brutal. It's going to be crushing ...The holidays are the busiest time for everyone."

Folks in Downers Grove are trying to do their best to support local restaurants.

"It's sad," said resident Melissa Dinwoodie. " I don't want to see local businesses close and to have no businesses other than the big chains that can afford to stay open so we'll see what happens. Hopefully it won't be that long."

Former Mayor Martin Tully said while he understands the stricter mitigations, this is just more bad news for all the already struggling businesses.

"This is really tough for businesses because they have already had to undergo a great deal being closed with the restrictions and yet their innovation and creativity to figure out ways to stay open and still maintain incomes for both their businesses and employees has been really great, but things keep changing. It's a moving target and it's really hard."

Naperville Mayor Steve Chirico says contact tracing data does not indicate restaurants or bars have been a significant source of transmission and he disagrees with the new restrictions.

"We're not going to force restaurants out of business because this is what they think might be the source," Mayor Chirico said. "It's not my intention to start arresting our business owners. I'll tell you that right now."

But a new study in the journal "Nature" by Northwestern University and Stanford researchers concludes restaurants can be a significant source of spread.

"Had full-service restaurants been fully open in Chicago during the first couple months of the pandemic, we would have seen about 600,000 more cases in Chicago by the end of May," said Northwestern University Professor Beth Redbird.

Elmhurst's mayor has reached out to Governor Pritzker saying in a letter that the suburb's businesses have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on safety for their customers and the latest mitigations could be fatal to bars and restaurants.

The deaths reported Wednesday included:

-Adams County: 1 female 70s, 1 male 70s, 1 male 80s
-Boone County: 1 male 50s, 1 male 60s, 1 female 70s
-Carroll County: 2 males 80s, 1 female 90s
-Clinton County: 1 male 70s, 1 female 80s
-Coles County: 1 male 70s, 1 female 90s
-Cook County: 1 male 20s, 1 male 30s, 2 males 40s, 3 females 50s, 5 males 50s, 6 males 60s, 8 females 70s, 6 males 70s, 4 females 80s, 7 males 80s, 5 females 90s, 2 males 90s

-Crawford County: 1 male 70s, 1 male 80s
-DuPage County: 1 female 70s, 1 female 80s, 3 males 80s
-Edwards County: 1 female 90s
-Ford County: 1 female 70s, 1 male 90s
-Franklin County: 1 male 80s
-Grundy County: 1 male 70s
-Hamilton County: 1 female 60s
- Henry County: 1 male 40s, 1 male 80s
-Jefferson County: 1 male 90s
-Kane County: 1 female 50s, 2 males 60s, 1 male 70s, 1 female 80s, 1 female 90s
-Kankakee County: 1 male 80s,
-Knox County: 1 male 60s, 2 females 90s
-Lake County: 1 female 70s, 1 male 70s, 1 male 90s, 1 female 90s
-Lee County: 1 male 80s
-Livingston County: 1 male 70s, 1 male 80s
-Macon County: 1 female 60s, 1 female 70s, 1 male 70s, 1 female 80s, 1 male 80s, 1 female 90s
-Macoupin County: 1 female 70s
-Madison County: 1 female 70s, 1 male 70s
-Marion County: 1 female 40s, 1 male 70s, 1 female 80s
-Mason County: 1 female 60s
-McHenry County: 1 female 70s, 1 male 70s, 1 female 80s
-McLean County: 1 male 70s, 1 female 80s
-Morgan County: 1 female 80s
-Peoria County: 1 female 60s, 1 male 80s, 1 female 90s
-Pike County: 1 female 70s
-Rock Island County: 1 female 70s, 1 male 90s
-Saline County: 1 male 80s
-St. Clair County: 1 male 80s
-Tazewell County: 1 male 70s, 1 female 80s
-Vermilion County: 1 female 90s
-Warren County: 1 male 70s
-Wayne County: 1 male 90s
-White County: 2 males 80s
-Whiteside County: 1 male 40s, 1 male 70s

-Will County: 1 female 50s, 1 female 60s, 2 males 60s, 2 females 80s, 2 males 80s, 1 female 90s
-Williamson County: 1 male 80s
-Winnebago County: 2 males 60s, 1 male 70s

Tier 2 restrictions:



Bars:


-All bars close at 11pm and may reopen no earlier than 6am the following day
-No indoor service
- 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 tables exceeding 6 people

Restaurants


-All restaurants close at 11pm and may reopen no earlier than 6am the following day
-No indoor dining or bar service
-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
-No tables exceeding 6 people

Meetings, social events and gatherings


-Limit to 10 guests in both indoor and outdoor settings *
-Applicable to professional, cultural and social group gatherings.
-Not applicable to students participating in-person classroom learning, sports or polling places.
-This does not reduce the overall facility capacity dictated by general business guidance such as office, retail, etc.
- No party buses
-Gaming and Casinos close at 11:00pm, are limited to 25 percent capacity, and follow mitigations for bars and restaurants, if applicable

Organized group recreational activities



-Limit to lesser of 25 guests or 25% of overall room capacity both indoors & outdoors *
-Groups limited to 10 or fewer people *
-All Sports Guidance effective August 15, 2020, remains in effect
-Outdoor Activities (not included in the above exposure settings) continue per current DCEO guidance
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