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Coronavirus

Here's where each health region in northern Illinois stands as of Wednesday

Gov. Pritzker and staff test negative for COVID-19, IDPH releases Halloween guidelines

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The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 2,273 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 35 additional deaths Wednesday.

The seven-day rolling average of Illinois’ positivity rate remained flat at 3.6%. The state received the results of 58,546 COVID-19 tests in the 24 hours leading up to Wednesday afternoon.

Illinois now has seen 293,274 total cases of the virus and 8,672 people have died. The state has conducted a total of 5,624,822 tests since the start of the pandemic.

As of late Tuesday, Illinois had 1,632 COVID-19 patients in the hospital, an increase of 97 patients over the past 24 hours. Of those, 378 were in intensive care units, and 152 were on ventilators.

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker gave a virtual COVID-19 update from quarantine Wednesday afternoon after it was announced Tuesday morning that a member of his staff tested positive for the virus.

In the press conference, Pritzker said that he and his staff have all tested negative in initial "office-wide" tests conducted but that they will remain in self-isolation for the full 14-day period recommended by the Illinois Department of Public Health.

The staff member who tested positive has some symptoms but is in good condition, he said.

As announced on Tuesday, additional COVID-19 restrictions will be placed on Illinois’ Region 1 starting Saturday to mitigate the resurgence of the virus there after the region met two of the IDPH's criteria for stricter measures.

Region 1, or the North Region, includes Boone, Carroll, DeKalb, Jo Daviess, Lee, Ogle, Stephenson, Whiteside and Winnebago counties. The region will join the Metro East Region 4, which surrounds St. Louis in the southwestern part of the state, in adhering to "tier one" of the IDPH resurgence mitigations.

This means bars and restaurants can no longer offer indoor service, must require reservations for each party and must stop service at 11 p.m., according to the IDPH mitigations plan. Capacity limits on events will also be changed from 50 to 25 people.

The rest of the state has shown encouraging trends, Pritzker said.

"Over the last two weeks, nine of our 11 regions have seen their average positivity rates decline even as our state is performing tests at record numbers," he said.

However, IDPH Director Ngozi Ezike said Wednesday that the state is watching central Illinois' Region 6 closely as the majority of the region has reported an increase in positivity rate.

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has rolled out its own COVID-19 testing program using saliva testing with thousands of tests conducted on students and staff each day, Ezike said.

This represents up to 25% of tests conducted in the entire state, depending on the day, and has thrown off the IDPH's ability to monitor potential resurgence of the virus in other parts of the region, she said.

For this reason, the IDPH will now also monitor Region 6 testing positivity rates apart from Champaign County, where the university is located. If the rest of Region 6 meets the IDPH's thresholds for stricter mitigation measures, Champaign County will still be subject to mitigation along with the rest of the region, Ezike said.

Also on Wednesday, the IDPH released recommendations for how residents can celebrate Halloween safely. The guidelines suggest a slightly modified version of trick-or-treating where individually-wrapped candies are left out on a table for children and families to take in a socially distant manner, Ezike said Wednesday.

"We are encouraging people to find ways to celebrate that might look a little different than in years past, but we still allow our children to take part in these festivities," she said.

Indoor haunted houses are not allowed in Phase 4 of the governor's Restore Illinois plan, but outdoor activities, such as haunted hayrides, apple orchard visits or pumpkin patches, are permitted with the use of social distancing and face coverings, Ezike said.

Ezike urged residents to avoid crowded indoor costume parties and cautioned against wearing a costume mask over a face covering, adding that a face covering should be prioritized over a costume mask if the two cannot be comfortably and safely worn together.

Regional update: Additional restrictions can be placed on any of the state's 11 health regions if the region sustains an increase in its average positivity rate for seven days out of a 10-day period.

A region may also become more restrictive if there is a seven-day increase in hospital admissions for COVID-19-related illness or a reduction in hospital medical/surgical beds or ICU capacity below 20%. If a region reports three consecutive days with greater than an 8% average positivity rate, additional infection mitigation will be considered through a tiered system of restriction guidelines offered by the IDPH.

The North Suburban region (McHenry and Lake counties) has seen three days of positivity increases and one day of hospital admission increases. The region's positivity rate increased to 5.0%. Currently, 39% of medical/surgical beds are available and 48% of ICU beds.

The West Suburban region (DuPage and Kane counties) has seen two days of positivity increases and two days of hospital admission increases. The region's positivity rate remained flat at 5.4%. Currently, 32% of medical/surgical beds are available and 44% of ICU beds.

The South Suburban region (Will and Kankakee counties) has seen two days of positivity increases and three days of hospital admission increases. The region's positivity rate increased to 5.4%. Currently, 28% of the region's medical/surgical beds are available and 33% of ICU beds.

The North region (Boone, Carroll, DeKalb, Jo Daviess, Lee, Ogle, Stephenson, Whiteside and Winnebago counties) has seen nine days of positivity increases – meeting one of the criteria for stricter mitigation measures – and four days of hospital admission increases. The region's positivity rate increased to 8.4%, the highest rate of any of the state's 11 regions. Currently, 39% of medical/surgical beds are available and 53% of ICU beds.

This marked the third consecutive day the region's positivity has hit at or above the state's fail-safe of 8.0%. The North region (Region 1) will be subject to additional COVID-19 mitigation measures from the IDPH beginning Saturday, according to Gov. J.B. Pritzker.

The North-Central region (Bureau, Fulton, Grundy, Henderson, Henry, Kendall, Knox, La Salle, Livingston, Marshall, McDonough, McLean, Mercer, Peoria, Putnam, Rock Island, Stark, Tazewell, Warren and Woodford counties) has seen two days of positivity increases and zero days of hospital admission increases. The region's positivity rate remained stable at 5.4%. Currently, 42% of medical/surgical beds are available and 43% of ICU beds.

Chicago has seen two days of positivity increases and four days of hospital admission increases. The region's positivity rate remained flat at 4.4%. Currently, 26% of medical/surgical beds are available and 33% of ICU beds.

Suburban Cook County has seen three days of positivity increases and three days of hospital admission increases. The region's positivity rate stayed the same at 5.1%. Currently, 26% of medical/surgical beds are available and 36% of ICU beds.

To see how other regions across the state are doing, see the full IDPH dashboard here.

Newly reported deaths include:

- Bureau County: 1 female 80s

- Carroll County: 1 male 70s

- Champaign County: 1 female 80s

- Cook County: 1 male 60s, 1 female 80s, 1 male 80s, 1 female 100+

- DeKalb County: 1 male 90s

- DuPage County: 1 female 80s

- Effingham County: 1 female 70s

- Fayette County: 1 female 70s, 2 females 80

- Greene County: 2 females 70s

- Grundy County: 1 male 80s

- Jackson County: 1 female 60s

- Jersey County: 2 female 90s

- Lake County: 1 male 70s

- Lawrence County: 1 male 70s

- Macon County: 1 female 80s

- Madison County: 2 males 80s

- Peoria County: 1 male 80s

- St. Clair County: 1 female 70s, 1 male 70s

- Tazewell County: 1 male 70s, 1 female 80s

- Will County: 1 female 70s, 2 males 70s

- Williamson County: 1 female 60s, 1 female 70s

- Woodford County: 1 male 80s

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