CHICAGO — Regions including suburban DuPage, Kane, Kankakee and Will counties hit the State of Illinois’ COVID-19 test “failsafe” level Tuesday, making additional mitigation measures likely as officials across the state sound the alarm about a resurgence in cases.
According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, both the West Suburban and South Suburban regions established in the Restore Illinois plan hit its COVID-19 “failsafe” level of three days with a 7-day test positivity rate above 8 percent Tuesday.
Both regions initially passed the 8 percent level on October 15, while data released Tuesday shows a third day above the limit with rates of 9 percent in the West Suburban Region and 8.6 percent in the South Suburban Region as of Saturday.
While announcing new restrictions for the Southern Region after it passed the same “failsafe” level Monday, Governor JB Pritzker warned the suburban regions could be next to see new restrictions. Positivity rates in the regions had been stable, but began to rise over the past two weeks.
“Experts have predicted for months that the country could see a resurgence of the virus as temperatures get colder and more people spend more time inside,” Pritzker said. “Here in Illinois, it looks like a new wave could be upon us.”
Every region of Illinois has seen their positivity rates rise in recent days. The North Suburban Region outside Chicago reached 7.5 percent as of Tuesday, while Cook County outside Chicago reported a rate of 7.1 percent.
The new restrictions put in place in the Southern Region included an end to indoor service at bars and restaurants, and limits of group sizes to 25 people or less.
Pritzker is returning to daily COVID-19 briefings as Illinois sees a resurgence in cases, and is expected to speak at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Statewide, the IDPH reported 3,714 new COVID-19 cases and 41 coronavirus-related deaths Tuesday. The statewide positivity rate from October 13-19 rose slightly to 5.5 percent, near levels last seen in early June, although the weekly testing average has more than tripled since then according to data compiled by WGN-TV.
Data shows the 7-day average of cases in Illinois has risen from around 2,000 a day on October 6 to more than 3,700 as of Tuesday, while testing rose less sharply from around 58,000 to more than 67,000. The 7-day average of deaths has been rising over the past two weeks as well, from around 28 to 36 a day.
While the number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 is beginning to rise statewide, the availability of ventilators and intensive care beds remains within state guidelines. According to the IDPH, 2,261 patients were hospitalized with COVID-19 as of Monday night, including 489 in intensive care and 195 on ventilators.
Several other regions reported 7-day positivity rates above 7 percent as of Tuesday, including Region 3 (7.5 Percent), Region 4 (7.4 percent), Region 6 (7.6 percent), Additional restrictions remain in effect in the northwest Illinois region, which reported a 7-day positivity rate of 11.8 percent Tuesday.
The City of Chicago added Colorado, Delaware, Ohio, Texas and West Virginia to its emergency travel order requiring anyone arriving from those states to self-quarantine for 14 days Tuesday. Neighboring Indiana and Wisconsin remain on the list as well.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Monday some coronavirus restrictions could return in Chicago if the number of COVID-19 cases in the city continue to rise. Health officials said cases have risen by more than 50 percent over the past two weeks, increasing at a rate last seen in March and April.