Pritzker imposes added COVID-19 restrictions on most populous region, warns of ‘COVID storm’

(The Center Square) – Warning of a “COVID storm” coming, Gov. J.B. Pritzker is placing restrictions on another region in Illinois.

Region 11, which is the city of Chicago, will get added restrictions just after midnight on Friday. They include the same restrictions on indoor service at bars and restaurants that were imposed on suburban Cook County earlier in the week and go into effect Wednesday.

The governor said additional restrictions for Chicago were triggered by a sustained increase in its positivity rate and a sustained increase in COVID-19-related hospitalizations for more than seven of the past 10 days.

“For a time late in the summer, Chicago seemed to have this more under control than other regions of Illinois, but that is no longer the case,” Pritzker said.

Region 11 is the second of the state’s 11 regions to trigger additional restrictions based on sustained positivity and hospitalization rates, with the first being its neighbor, Region 10.

“When the first several regions started implementing mitigations measures, it was because the 7-day rolling test positivity was above 8% for three consecutive days,” Department of Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said. “What we are starting to see now, first the suburban Cook County, and now with Chicago, is that mitigation measures are needed because COVID-19 hospital admissions are going up alongside increases in test positivity.”

Regions 4, 5, 7, 8 and 10 will operate under Tier 1 mitigation measures given that the regions continue to report a 7-day rolling positivity rate above 8%. Region 1, in northwest Illinois, is currently operating under Tier 2 mitigation measures after continuing to see a rise in positivity rates which were over 12% as of this morning.

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