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Cases among teens and young adults, business-related complaints rising
Public health officials in Lake and McHenry Counties are urging the public to take action to slow the spread of COVID-19. As of August 3, the testing positivity rate in the North Suburban Region was 4.9 percent, with daily increases reported in 4 of the past 10 days.
Cases in the region continue to rise, with higher rates reported among teens and young adults in recent weeks. The 20-29 age group now has the highest case count in both counties.
“Young people are not immune to COVID-19, and local outbreaks show how easily this virus can spread in social settings,” said Melissa Adamson, Public Health Administrator at the McHenry County Department of Health. “We have to look out for each other, protecting not only ourselves but the people we care about and their loved ones, too.”
Complaints of social distancing and masking violations at restaurants and bars have also risen in recent months. Across the region, public health staff have investigated over 300 business-related complaints since May 29, when Illinois entered Phase 3 of the Restore Illinois Plan.
“We thank the majority of business owners who have already gone above and beyond to operate safely during this phase of the pandemic, you have truly stepped up to protect your patrons and staff,” said Mark Pfister, Executive Director of the Lake County Health Department.
“At the same time, the recent volume of business-related complaints our staff are receiving and investigating every day is concerning,” said Pfister. “In our region, we are working with municipal leaders to step up local enforcement, reinforcing this message: these guidelines are not just a suggestion—they are critical to protecting the public’s health so that businesses can remain open.”
All residents are urged to follow the 3 Ws every day:
The 3 Ws must become part of our daily routines to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Both Lake and McHenry public health officials also recommend that residents avoid crowded places and all non-essential travel, as cases continue to surge in the United States and abroad.
Public health administrators Pfister and Adamson will host a live question and answer (Q&A) session on Facebook LIVE this Friday, August 7 at 1:30 p.m. To join the discussion, visit the Lake County Health Department (@healthdepartment), Lake County Government (@LakeCountyILGov), McHenry County Department of Health (@MCDHMcHenry), or McHenry County Government (@McHenryCountyGov) Facebook pages and submit your comments during the event.
Under the State’s Restore Illinois Mitigation Plan, Lake and McHenry Counties make up the North Suburban Region 9. Any region that sustains an 8% positivity rate for three consecutive days or sees an increase in positivity rates and simultaneous decrease in hospital capacity will need to implement additional community mitigation interventions, according to the state’s plan. Interventions in the region will be chosen from a tiered ‘menu’ of options based on the severity and potential cause of the resurgence.
Data-informed mitigation measures in the region may include restricting the size of social gatherings, reducing capacity at businesses, or scaling back activities that pose a higher risk of transmission, such as indoor dining and bar service.
To view the North Suburban Region metrics on the Illinois Department of Public Health website, visit http://www.dph.illinois.gov/regionmetrics and select Region 9. Metrics are updated daily, including testing positivity rates, hospital admissions, and hospital capacity.
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Lake County Health Department: Hannah Goering, (847) 377-8099, firstname.lastname@example.org
Lake County Government: Arin Thrower, (847) 377-2154, email@example.com
McHenry County Department of Health: Lindsey Salvatelli, (815) 334-4456, LRSalvatelli@mchenrycountyil.gov
McHenry County Government: Alicia Schueller, (815) 334-0309, AAschueller@mchenrycountyil.gov