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As COVID-19 cases continue to increase rapidly, the DuPage County Health Department (DCHD) is urging all residents to take action to prevent the spread of the virus by following public health guidance and staying home except for essential activities.
On Tuesday, Gov. JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) announced Tier 3 COVID-19 resurgence mitigations for all 11 regions of the state. These most recent mitigation efforts take effect on Friday and are in response to the exponential growth of COVID-19 cases throughout the state.
The COVID-19 community transmission level in DuPage County has continued to increase. PerIDPH-posted metrics, DuPage County's seven-day positivity rate has increased from 6.0% on Oct. 16 to 12.8% on Nov. 13, reflecting a 113% rise in four weeks.
In addition, the seven-day rolling average of daily reported confirmed COVID-19 cases on Nov. 13 of 689 cases is nearly four times the previous peak on May 17 of 179.4 daily cases.
"We are confident that our collective actions can reduce the number of new cases, prevent further hospitalizations, and, ultimately, save lives," Karen Ayala, DuPage County Health Department executive director said in a statement. "We are urging residents to follow the public health tools we have available today to prevent more restrictive mitigation measures in the future."
To reduce the spread of COVID-19, all residents are advised to adhere to the Tier 3 mitigation requirements and:
• Stay home as much as possible. Only go out for essential activities, such as work, doctor’s visits, COVID-19 testing, visiting the pharmacy and buying groceries. Those who can work from home are advised to do so.
• Limit gatherings. Refrain from attending or hosting gatherings with those who do not live in your household. This includes upcoming holiday celebrations.
• Limit non-essential travel. As much as possible, do not engage in any non-essential travel, including vacations or trips to visit friends or relatives.
• Practice effective preventive measures. Wear a face covering over your nose and mouth in public settings and whenever with anyone not from your household, maintain a distance of at least six feet from others, and wash hands thoroughly and often.
• Answer the call. If you receive a call from IL COVID HELP or 312-777-1999, a contact tracer may be calling to notify you that you have been a close contact and need to quarantine to protect your family, friends and community.
• While contact tracers are working to keep up with the rapid pace of rising cases, you should know what to do if you have COVID-19 illness or infection or have been exposed but have not yet been contacted by DCHD. Please review information about how long to isolate or quarantine and what to do if someone in your household is sick at www.dupagehealth.org/645/COVID-19-Information-and-Resources.
As Thanksgiving and other holidays approach, many residents are making plans to gather with family and friends to celebrate. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has indicated gatherings increase the risk of getting or spreading COVID-19. This year, families are encouraged to celebrate safely to protect their loved ones,and the safest way to do so is to celebrate with people from the same household.
Families should consider celebrating differently this year, by:
• Hosting a virtual Thanksgiving meal with friends and family from other households.
• Watching Thanksgiving Day parades, sports and movies television or playing games with people in your household.
• Shopping online sales the day after Thanksgiving and days leading up to the winter holidays.
• Safely preparing traditional dishes and delivering them to family and neighbors in a way that does not involve contact with others.
For DuPage County COVID-19 information, visit www.dupagehealth.org/covid19.