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Coronavirus

No indoor dining in Chicago starting Friday as IDPH, Pritzker announce mitigations for the city

Chicago becomes the 7th of 11 Illinois regions to get enhanced mitigations

People walk by outdoor plastic dining bubbles on Fulton Market in Chicago, Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020. Colder temperatures are providing a new challenge for restaurants during the coronavirus pandemic, but there's a solution being developed in Fulton Market. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
People walk by outdoor plastic dining bubbles on Fulton Market in Chicago, Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020. Colder temperatures are providing a new challenge for restaurants during the coronavirus pandemic, but there's a solution being developed in Fulton Market. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

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Chicago is the latest of Illinois' 11 health care regions to have enhanced mitigations put on it. Gov. JB Pritzker announced that Chicago will have Tier 1 mitigations put on it, effective Friday.

"Region 11 has triggered additional mitigations due to a sustained increase in its positivity rate as well as a sustained increase in COVID-related hospitalizations for more than seven of the past ten days," a news release from the governor's office stated. "These increases exceed the thresholds set for establishing mitigation measures under the state's Restore Illinois Resurgence Plan."

The mitigations include no indoor dining or bar service at restaurants, no indoor service at bars, and meetings and gatherings should be limited to 25 guests or 25 percent capacity, whichever is less.

Hospitalizations for COVID-like illness in Chicago hospitals was averaging about 30 people per day on Oct. 15. As of Oct. 24, the average had jumped to 43 people per day. The region's positivity rate sits at 7.8%, but was 6.0% on Oct. 15.

"It shouldn't be a surprise to anyone following the metrics, the direction, that this would be a likely thing that would happen," Pritzker said.

"When the first several regions started implementing mitigation measures, it was because the 7-day rolling test positivity was above 8% for three consecutive days," IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said in a news release. "What we are starting to see now, first with 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. Based on current trends, we soon could face reduced hospital bed availability and overwhelming our health care systems.

"Please, for our health care workers, yourself, and your community, keep distance between you and others, wash your hands, and always wear a mask when around people."

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