Gov. J.B. Pritzker warned today that bars and restaurants in much of the Chicago area could be ordered to suspend inside service again as soon as tomorrow as the state’s COVID-19 numbers again spike.
Pritzker said Region 8, which covers DuPage and Kane counties, and Region 7, Will and Kankakee counties, both have surpassed the 8 percent COVID positivity test rate for two days in a row. A third day will force them him into mitigation actions like those he previously ordered in the northwest corner of the state and today implemented in southern Illinois, he said. See the charts below for the latest COVID figures for Chicago and the state.
“It looks like a new (COVID) wave is upon us,” said Pritzker, echoing comments earlier in the day from Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot. “Things are getting worse.”
Chicago does not face such an imminent shutdown, but Lightfoot warned it could be on the way.
A mitigation order also would reduce the size of any gatherings to a maximum of 25 people.
In Region 7, seven-day positivity rates have been 8.2 percent and 8.3 percent respectively, the past two days.
In Region 8, the comparable figures are even higher: 8.4 percent and 8.5 percent of tests for COVID are coming back positive, according to Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Public Health’s website.
Hospital admissions also have increased, but not as much or as quickly as in some other regions of the state.
“Ours will not be one of the states that takes no action in response to rising cases, hospitalizations,” Pritzker said. “It’s getting worse,” and though Illinois is doing better than some of its neighbors, particularly Wisconsin, the state wants to curb the increase now.
Pritzker has ruled out any kind of statewide shutdown, saying his actions will depend on what’s happening in each of the 11 regions. But he warned that in the past week, figures have worsened in each of the 11, something many medical experts predicted would happen when fall weather arrived.
Pritzker also is making another change: He’s resuming personal daily COVID briefings, something he had ended a couple of months ago but something he today said is needed to keep residents fully informed.