Evanston health officials reported four new COVID-19 cases among city residents today while the number of new cases across Illinois rose to 2,128.

Gov. J.B. Pritkzer, at a news conference this afternoon, announced even stricter new limits on public gatherings in the metro east region near St. Louis.

Two weeks ago restrictions had been imposed after the seven-day positive rate topped 8%. Today Pritzker said those restrictions haven’t been sufficient and the positive rate there now stands at 9.6%.

Among other things, the new limits shut down all indoor bar and dining service and require outdoor bars and restaurants to close by 11 p.m. in the metro east region.

Evanston’s coronavirus case count now totals 998. The death toll here remained unchanged at 72.

Chicago today reported 284 new cases for a total of 71,725 and four more deaths for a total of 2,883.

Suburban Cook County today had 340 more cases for a total of 55,891 and four more deaths for a total of 2,190.

Statewide the COVID-19 case count now stands at 238,643 and with 27 more deaths, the death toll stands at 8,091.

With 32,751 test results reported today the Illinois Department of Public Health reported the positive rate was 6.5% and the seven-day average positive rate now is 4.5%

The IDPH reported tests of 325 Evanstonians and said it found two cases for a positive rate of 0.6%

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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