Illinois COVID-19: IL reports 12,623 new cases, 79 deaths as total case count surpasses 500K

DuPage, Kane, Kankakee and Will counties see Tier 2 restrictions

ByMichelle Gallardo, John Garcia, Eric Horng, Jessica D'Onofrio, and ABC 7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Wednesday, November 11, 2020
IL reports 12,623 new COVID-19 cases, total cases surpass 500K
Northwestern and Stanford study found restaurants, gyms and houses of worship as hotspots for COVID-19 infections.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Illinois public health officials reported 12,623 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday along with 79 additional deaths.

The total number of cases in Illinois now stands at 511,183 with a total of 10,289 deaths.

WATCH: Gov. Pritzker COVID-19 Update for Nov. 10

Gov. JB Pritzker and IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike give an update as more than 12,000 new COVID-19 cases took the Illinois total coronavirus case count past 500,000.

Over a 24-hour period, officials said the state processed 101,955 specimens for a total 8,571,019.

The preliminary seven-day statewide test positivity from Nov. 3 to Nov. 9 is 13.1%.

RELATED: Myths about COVID-19 busted: Masks, indoor transmission, cold weather, and more

University of Chicago Medicine Executive Medical Director of Infection Prevent and Control Dr. Emily Landon busts some common, pervasive myths about COVID-19.

As of Monday night, 4,742 patients were hospitalized with COVID-19, with 911 in the ICU and 399 patients on ventilators.

The deaths reported Tuesday included:

-Adams County: 1 male 70s

- Bureau County: 1 male 70s

- Cass County: 1 male 70s

- Champaign County: 1 female 70s, 2 males 80s, 1 male 90s

- Clinton County: 1 female 90s

- Coles County: 1 female 70s, 1 female 80s

- Cook County: 1 female 40s, 1 male 40s, 1 female 50s, 1 male 50s, 1 male 60s, 2 females 70s, 3 males 70s, 4 females 80s, 3 males 80s, 1 female 90s, 2 males 90s

- DeWitt County: 1 female 90s

- DuPage County: 1 male 70s, 1 female 80s, 1 female 90s

- Effingham County: 1 male 70s

- Franklin County: 1 female 50s

- Fulton County: 1 female 70s, 1 male 80s

- Grundy County: 1 male 70s

- Jackson County: 1 male 40s

- Kane County: 1 female 70s, 1 female 80s

- Knox County: 1 male 70s, 1 female 80s

- Lake County: 1 female 70s, 1 female 80s, 1 female 90s

- LaSalle County: 1 male 70s, 2 males 80s, 2 males 90s

- Macon County: 1 male 70s, 2 females 80, 1 male over 100

- Madison County: 1 male 60s

- McDonough County: 1 female 70s

- Ogle County: 1 male 80s

- Peoria County: 1 male 70s, 1 female 90s

- Piatt County: 1 male 80s

- Pike County: 1 female 80s

- Rock Island County: 1 male 40s, 1 female 70s

- Saline County: 1 female 90s

- St. Clair County: 1 male 90s

- Stephenson County: 1 male 70s, 2 males 80s

- Vermilion County: 1 male 70s

- Wayne County: 1 male 80s

- Whiteside County: 1 female 80s

- Will County: 1 male 30s, 1 female 70s, 1 male 70s

- Williamson County: 1 female 80s

- Winnebago County: 1 male 60s

- Woodford County: 1 male 80s

WATCH: Gov. Pritzker announces new COVID-19 mitigations

Watch Gov. JB Pritzker's COVID-19 briefing on November 9, 2020.

At his daily COVID-19 briefing Monday, Governor Pritzker announced Tier 2 mitigations for Region 7 (Will and Kankakee counties), Region 8 (DuPage and Kane counties) and Region 5 in southern Illinois.

Tier 2 mitigations include a limit of 6 people per table at restaurants and bars, a limit of ten people at meetings and social gatherings, both inside and outside. For organized group and recreational activities, there is a limit of 25 guests or 25% of the overall room capacity, both indoors and outdoors.

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

"We are all on the same team. We want to hang out with our friends, go to our favorite restaurants and big weddings, all the things we've been sacrificing since March. But only a few paths to get us there," said Dr. Ngozi Ezike, director of the Illinois Dept. of Public Health.

In west suburban Naperville, residents are bracing for the impact of the restrictions.

"I do think it's necessary," said Naperville resident Colleen Doyle. "I know that there's a lot of people on both sides of the argument but this is a lose-lose."

Egg Harbor Cafe's manager in Naperville says they are doing their part if it will help save lives.

"It is painful," said Angel Gutierres, Egg Harbor cafe manager. "We understand the situation we understand what's going on with the whole COVID 19. We are hoping that this is going to go down and it's definitely going to drop."

Terri Hayes' salon on Jefferson Avenue won't be affected, but she worries about what the governor may order in the future as COVID cases surge.

"It's really kind of scary," Hayes said. "You know we not only had to shut down last time, we had rioting down here.

In a new study in the Nature journal, Northwestern University and and Stanford University researchers shows that restaurants can be a significant source of spread of the virus.

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

Researchers compared cell phone location data to data related to infection trends in cities including Chicago. They concluded that 10 percent of locations accounted for 80 percent of infections. Restaurants, gyms and houses of worship topped the list of those locations.

"Because of the characteristics of these places, they emerge as a super spreader site, as a place where people are more likely to become infected," Redbird said.

The study also found grocery stores and other businesses in lower-income communities tend to be smaller and more crowded than those in more affluent areas, which contributes to disparities in infections.

Meanwhile, Naperville Mayor Steve Chirico said contact tracing data doesn't indicate bars or restaurants have been a significant source of transmission in the region.

Naperville Mayor Steve Chirico says he won't be enforcing Governor JB Pritzker's stricter COVID-19 mitigations.

"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."

The governor says those rising numbers are not an indication that indoor dining restrictions aren't effective, but he says it's a lack of adherence and enforcement of the rules.

In west suburban Geneva, FoxFire owner KC Gulbro briefly obtained a court order allowing him to continue operating indoors when the first set of mitigations when into effect. That order has since been overturned.

"There's no help," Gulbro said. "There's no life preserver out there for us again. There's no PPP loan to help our staff. Again we're in limbo."

And case numbers continue to rise throughout the state, business advocates worry about even more stringent rules which may soon come.

"It's impacting our retail as well. We're all interconnected," said Kaylin Risvold, with the Naperville Chamber of Commerce. "The businesses, the restaurants, the retail, the taxes, the jobs. We're all interconnected and it's hard when things start to break down."

WATCH: Elmhurst restaurants prepare for stricter restrictions

With COVID-19 rates skyrocketing in DuPage County, Gov. JB Pritzker is moving the region back to Phase 2 mitigations.

At Tapville Social in downtown Naperville, a beautiful evening on the patio was tempered by news of more restrictions.

"You know, we've taken all the safety precautions with our staff and our customers, and now it's just another sort of knife in the back for us to continue to operate our business," said Joseph Tota, co-owner of Tapville Social. "Seeing the numbers I understand, but especially from, with our employees we hate to have to make hard decisions."

The patio outside Roberto's restaurant in Elmhurst is a good spot for lunch during this unseasonably warm November, but that is likely to change soon. And some diners may be looking longingly at the empty indoor tables - even though the governor has made indoor dining off-limits for now.

"It's the people's choice to actually come out and enjoy themselves and dine. It shouldn't be his choice," said Pasquale Moreci, of Roberto's restaurant in Elmhurst.

Dr. Robert Citronberg says people should follow new CDC guidelines for holidays and avoid celebrating in person with people outside of the immediate household.

Despite spending thousands in safety equipment, Tony Gambino has closed the doors at Doc's Victory Pub for the second time this year. He said with indoor spaces closed, there's no way to keep this business going for now.

"To single out an industry, you're gonna put a lot of people out of work and unfortunately, on the second one, I think a lot of restaurants are not going to be able to reopen," Gambino said.

Gambino's company owns 15 restaurants. Two have already closed permanently, and he says if the current restrictions remain, more could be in danger.

Elmhurst's mayor sent a letter to Governor JB Pritzker on the subject last week, writing: "The livelihood of these businesses, their owners and their employees rely on your ability to modify this order. Elmhurst businesses have spent hundreds of thousands dollars to create a safe environment for their customers. Eliminating indoor dining during our cold weather season will be FATAL to many restaurants."

Gov. Pritzker, however, sounded unlikely to budge during his COVID-19 briefing Monday.

"Too many local officials across the state are ignoring their local public health departments and doing nearly nothing to assist their residents to follow even the most basic COVID-19 guidelines," Pritzker said.

Coronavirus testing: Where to get tested for COVID-19 in Illinois, Chicago area

On Monday, the CDC posted its most specific guidance yet on Thanksgiving, which emphasized that the safest option for the holiday is celebrating only with people in your household or taking extra precautions like wearing masks and keeping your distance if you celebrate with others.

Hospitals brace for surge in admissions

Where there is a surge of COVID-19 cases, a surge of hospitalizations will follow, so Chicago area hospitals are preparing for it now.

Coronavirus testing: Where to get tested for COVID-19 in Illinois, Chicago area

As COVID-19 cases continue to rise, officials at Northwestern Medicine Delnor Hospital in Geneva are considering turning single-bed rooms into double occupancy if more space is needed. Meanwhile, hospitalization levels at Northwest Community Healthcare have been getting close to spring peak.

"This is something that really is unprecedented. Nobody's experienced anything like this, that is not only at our hospital, across the entire region, the state, the country," said Dr. Alan Loren, chief medical officer at Northwest Community Healthcare.

The concerns grow as increasing number of Northwest staff members at the hospital have also been getting infected when they are not at the hospital.

"I think the number one thing you hear from hospitals isn't so much, 'Do we have the space?' It's, 'Do we have the staffing?,'" Pritzker said.

The state announced mobile testing teams would be made available across northern Illinois in the next week.

Free testing will be available regardless of symptoms, insurance or immigration status.

Testing demand grows, and testing supplies run out

Thousands of people are getting COVID-19 tests each day, and as demand grow, testing sites around Illinois are running out of materials to perform the tests quicker and quicker.

Here's where the sites will be:


  • 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at Bennett Day, 955 W. Grand Ave., Chicago
  • 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday at Metropolitan Family Services - Belmont-Cragin, 3249 N Central, Chicago
  • 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at Ping Tom Park, 300 W. 19th Street, Chicago
  • 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Nov. 15 at Affordable Recovery Home Campus, 13636 S. Western, Blue Island
  • 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Nov. 15 at 2701 W. Lake St, Melrose Park

  • 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday and Tuesday at Churchville Middle School, 155 Victory Parkway, Elmhurst
  • 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday at Wheaton College - Edman Chapel, 401 E. Franklin St., Wheaton
  • 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday at Glendale Heights Aquatic Center, 240 Civic Center Plaza, Glendale Heights

  • 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 15 at Minooka Community High School - Central, 301 S. Wabena Ave., Minooka

  • 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday and Tuesday at Kankakee County Health Department, 2390 W. Station St., Kankakee

  • 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday at Highwood Public Library, 102 Highwood Ave., Highwood
  • 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday at the College of Lake County, 19351 W. Washington St., Grayslake

  • 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Nov. 15 at Peterson Park, 4300 Peterson Park Road, McHenry
  • Tier 2 restrictions:


    -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


    -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