4 Illinois Counties At ‘Warning Level’ For Coronavirus Surge

ILLINOIS — State health officials on Friday announced 1,532 new cases of the coronavirus and 19 additional deaths from COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the virus, bringing the statewide total to 168,457 confirmed infections and 7,385 known deaths. Another 1,242 probable cases and 192 probable deaths are not included in the official totals.

The latest deaths include:

  • Cook County: 1 female 60s, 3 females 70s, 1 male 70s, 4 females 80s, 4 females 90s

  • DuPage County: 3 females 90s, 1 female 100+

  • Winnebago County: 1 female 60s, 1 female 90s

Health officials also announced four Illinois counties are at a “warning level” for a surge in cases: Adams, LaSalle, Peoria and Raldolph. Outbreaks there are “associated with business and risky behavior,” officials said. Some of those risky behaviors include holding large social events, traveling to coronavirus hot spots, not wearing masks or social distancing, and — especially among young people — crowding into bars and attending parties.

Warning signs include high levels of new cases, hospital admissions and deaths, high positive test rates, reduced health care capacity, and number of tests performed per day.

At least one Illinois region is “dangerously close” to new lockdown measures, health officials said Wednesday. See how your region is doing here.

“We’ve seen real progress over these last four and a half months, but our numbers now appear to be gradually rising, and that’s very concerning,” Gov. J.B. Pritzker said at a news conference this week.

As cases rise, new restrictions on bars went into effect in Chicago Friday, and visitors to the city from Kansas are now required to quarantine for two weeks. The city’s quarantine list currently includes 18 states, with Wisconsin on the verge of being added, officials said.

In the past 24 hours, labs in Illinois have processed 44,330 coronavirus tests, for a total of more than 2.4 million since the pandemic began. The state’s rolling, seven-day positivity rate is about 3.4 percent, a full percentage point higher than the low last month.

According to Johns Hopkins University, a positivity rate of less than 5 percent is a good measure of whether enough tests are being conducted in a given state.

As of Friday, the United States as a whole had tested more than 48.7 million people for the coronavirus. The country now has more than 4 million confirmed coronavirus infections, and, according to Johns Hopkins University, at least 144,954 Americans have died from COVID-19.

Based on the latest predictions by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 160,000 to 175,000 Americans could be dead from the disease by Aug. 15.

Globally, more than 15.6 million people have been infected and 635,086 are known to have died.

Illinois Coronavirus Helpline:

Illinois officials say a state helpline has been set up to provide emotional support and quick answers to questions about the coronavirus pandemic. Illinoisans can test “TALK” to 55-2020 (or “HABLAR” for Spanish), and within 24 hours they will receive a call from a counselor. Residents can also text keywords such aS “UNEMPLOYMENT,” “FOOD” or “SHELTER,” to the same number to receive additional information about those topics.

Here’s what’s happening with the coronavirus in Illinois:

1 IL Coronavirus Region ‘Dangerously Close’ To New Restrictions

The state could soon step in after an uptick in cases in the Metro East emergency management region, Gov. J. B. Pritzker said Wednesday.

MLB Opening Day: Chicago Cubs, White Sox Play Amid Pandemic

The crack of the bat, but not the roar of the crowd, will mark the sound of Major League Baseball’s return in 2020.

AMC Theatres Delaying Summer Reopening

The delay was prompted by a spike in coronavirus cases and changes in the expected release dates of new films.

Petition To Save Sports Nears Signature Goal

The organizer is reaching out to Gov. J.B. Pritzker, Illinois High School Association and the Illinois Department of Health, among others.

Travel Restrictions On Wisconsin Visitors ‘As Soon As Next Week’

Cases are surging in Wisconsin, and city officials say people there aren’t wearing masks at the level they are in Chicago.

Aurora Restaurant Closes After Worker Was Exposed To Coronavirus

The downtown eatery said it will be closed for three to five days while employees get tested and deep-clean the facility.

Glenview Pool Reopens Saturday Following Coronavirus Cases

The Flick Outdoor Aquatic Center has been closed since July 15 after five lifeguards were diagnosed with COVID-19 in less than a week.

East Aurora Schools To Start Fall Semester With Remote Learning

District 131 students are set to being the school year online Aug. 24, with schools scheduled to reopen Sept. 8, according to a report.

Pritzker Extends Illinois’ Eviction Hold For Another Month

The state’s moratorium on evictions now runs through Aug. 22.

No Face Masks In School, Bus Will Result In Disciplinary Measures

The district said students can face “detention, in-school suspension, out-of-school suspension, and removal to a remote-learning platform.”

19 Coronavirus Cases At Illinois Juvenile Detention Center

New cases at the Illinois Youth Center in St. Charles include 16 staff members and three youths detained at the facility, officials said.

OEHS Summer Football Camp Attendee Tests Positive For COVID-19

The remaining days of the camp were canceled due to safety requirements and students were asked to self-quarantine for 14 days.

Ban On Indoor Service At Bars, Taverns, Breweries To Start Friday

As coronavirus cases spike, Chicago officials announce restrictions on bars, indoor fitness classes and personal services will start Friday.

Illinois Teachers Union Says School Year Should Start Online

Returning to in-person instruction without sufficient coronavirus safety measures is too risky, the union says.

Metra Lets Medical Personnel Ride Free Through August

August will mark the fifth consecutive month that Metra will allow frontline medical workers to skip the fare, officials said.

Cemeno’s Pizza: Employee Coronavirus Case Confirmed

Cemeno’s informed its Facebook followers that it hopes to reopen within a few days.

Coronavirus by the numbers:

Illinois:

  • Total number of coronavirus cases: 168,457

  • Deaths: 7,385

  • People tested: 2,432,523

  • Recovered: Illinois does not provide exact numbers of recovered cases, but says the recovery rate is 95 percent.

Nationwide:

  • Total number of coronavirus cases: 4,073,243

  • Deaths: 144,954

  • People tested: 48,794,970

  • Recovered: 1,233,269

Global:

  • Total number of coronavirus cases: 15,628,936

  • Deaths: 635,086

  • People tested: No data available

  • Recovered: 8,917,141

Sources: Johns Hopkins University and IDPH

Tips from the CDC on dealing with coronavirus:

While the best way to prevent illness is to avoid virus exposure, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention generally recommends taking these actions to prevent the spread of viruses:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

  • Stay home when you are sick.

  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipes.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.

What to do if you’re sick:

Call head if you’re planning to visit your doctor:

  • If you have a medical appointment, call the health care provider and tell them that you have or may have COVID-19. This will help the health care provider’s office take steps to keep other people from getting infected or exposed.

Stay home unless you must see a doctor:

  • Stay home: People who are mildly ill with COVID-19 are able to isolate at home during their illness. You should restrict activities outside your home, except for getting medical care.

  • Avoid public areas: Do not go to work, school, or public areas.

  • Avoid public transportation: Avoid using public transportation, ride-sharing or taxis.

Separate yourself from other people and animals in your home:

  • Stay away from others: As much as possible, you should stay in a specific room and away from other people in your home. Also, you should use a separate bathroom, if available.

  • Limit contact with pets and animals: You should restrict contact with pets and other animals while you are sick with COVID-19, just as you would around other people. Although there have not been reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19, it is still recommended that people sick with COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is known about the virus.

  • When possible, have another member of your household care for your animals while you are sick. If you are sick with COVID-19, avoid contact with your pet, including petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked and sharing food. If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wash your hands before and after you interact with pets and wear a face mask. See COVID-19 and Animals for more information.

Avoid sharing personal household items:

  • Do not share: You should not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, or bedding with other people or pets in your home.

  • Wash thoroughly after use: After using these items, they should be washed thoroughly with soap and water.

Masks:

  • CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission. CDC also advises the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others. Cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure.

  • Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.

  • The cloth face coverings recommended are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators. Those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance.

  • Face mask instructions — sew- and no-sew masks

To donate personal protective equipment (PPE), email PPE.donations@illinois.gov. For health questions about COVID-19, call the state coronavirus hotline at 800-889-3931 or email dph.sick@illinois.gov.

This article originally appeared on the Across Illinois Patch

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