Cook County Issues New COVID-19 Mitigation Guidance

Aug. 4, 2020

With COVID-19 cases increasing in suburban Cook County, especially among young adults in their 20s, the Cook County Dept. of Public Health (CCDPH) has issued new guidance on mitigating the spread of COVID-19. The daily count of new COVID-19 cases has reached levels previously seen in March, and COVID-19 rates for people in their 20s are now about 2.5 times higher than they were at the end of March. This age group now has the highest rates of COVID-19.
 
“We get it. It’s summer. Young people are tired of the restrictions,” said Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. “But the virus is still with us. We need to get the word out and encourage young people to be patient. Physical distancing and wearing a mask is the minimum we need people to do to protect themselves and their friends and family.”
 
To slow the spread of COVID-19, CCDPH is issuing guidance for various establishments in suburban Cook County, with the exception of Evanston, Skokie, and Oak Park. Measures include:

  • Bars, taverns, breweries and other establishments that serve alcohol for on-site consumption without a retail food license are being asked to serve customers outdoors only.
  • Restaurants that serve alcohol must continue to abide by ongoing COVID-19 guidance and existing regulations.
  • Maximum party size and table occupancy at restaurants, bars, taverns, and breweries should be reduced to 6 people (indoor or outdoor).
  • Indoor fitness class size should be reduced to a maximum of 10 people.
  • Personal service businesses should discontinue services (shaves, facials) that require the removal of face coverings.
  • Residential property managers should limit guest entry to 6 people per unit to avoid indoor gatherings and parties.

As of July 31, there was an 8-day increase in COVID-19 positivity rates in suburban Cook County, based on a 7-day rolling average, and a 2-day increase in hospital admission increases. On July 31, the positivity rate was 5.8% in suburban Cook County, up from 5.2% on July 22.