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Suburban Cook County COVID-19 risk level designation changed from blue to orange
Residents are cautioned to remain vigilant to avoid tighter restrictions

Friday, August 28, 2020
Special to suffredin.org

Suburban Cook County COVID-19 risk level designation changed from blue to orange

Residents are cautioned to remain vigilant to avoid tighter restrictions

COOK COUNTY, IL. – Based on regional metrics established by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), suburban Cook County has moved from blue to orange on theCounty Level Risk Metrics Map. An ‘orange’ designation indicates warning signs of increased COVID-19 risk.

Eight different indicators are used to determine a county’s designation. If two or more indicators are going in the wrong direction, the county will be designated as orange. An increase in case rates and number of deaths are driving the change to this ‘orange’ designation for suburban Cook County:

·Suburban Cook County is currently at 112 positive COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people. This is the third week the county has been above 90 cases per 100,000 people. The target established by the state is 50 cases per 100,000 people.

·There were 25 deaths in suburban Cook County last week; up from 15 deaths the week before.

Evanston, Oak Park, Skokie and Stickney Township are included in suburban Cook County (Region 10) and the orange designation, but are not part of CCDPH's jurisdiction. Chicago (Region 11) is served by Chicago Department of Public Health, separate from suburban Cook, and will remain blue.

“The guidance will remain the same for now,” said President Preckwinkle. “But we are at a crossroads. We need everyone to wear a mask, watch their distance, and wash their hands consistently to slow the spread of COVID-19 so we don’t lose the gains we have made.”

Continued Mitigation Guidance (issued by CCDPH on August 3, 2020):

·Bar service outdoors only

·Restaurant and bar maximum party size of 6 people per table

·Indoor fitness class maximum class size of 10

·No personal services that require removal of face coverings (e.g. facials and shaves)

·Residential property managers should limit guest entry to 6 people per unit

·Remote work for high-risk individuals and continued support for telework for as many workers as possible

·Self-quarantine based on travel guidance to states with high rates of community transmission.

In addition, by the Governor’s order, masking is now required for indoor and outdoor dining any time that a server or other employee approaches a patron, and when a patron is not eating or drinking.

“We need people to follow the current guidance. If the numbers stay ‘orange’ or continue to worsen, we may need to implement additional restrictions, and we really don’t want to go there,” said Dr. Rachel Rubin. “Please work with us and follow the guidance. These steps help protect you, your family, and your community. We can beat this thing if we all work together."

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