With COVID-19 positive rates climbing across Illinois, Gov. J.B. Pritzker today imposed new mitigation rules on a second region of the state.

Both are now above the 8% positive rate threshold that triggers the new rules — including a ban on indoor dining at bars and restaurants. Southern Illinois, new on the mitigation list today, is at 9.1% and the northwest Illinois region, where restrictions were imposed earlier this month, is at 11.1%.

The restrictions also cut the size limit on indoor gatherings to 25 from the current level of 50 in the rest of the state.

Regions that include DuPage, Kane, Kankakee and Will counties in the Chicago metro region also are above the 8% level and may face new restrictions soon.

Suburban Cook County, the region that includes Evanston, is now at 6.0%, up from 4.9% a week ago.

Evanston health officials reported just one new COVID-19 cases among Evanston residents today. Statewide there were 3,113 new cases.

Evanston’s seven-day positive rate is now 2.1%, up from 1.3% a week ago.

The seven-day positive rate statewide is now 5.4%, up from 4.3% a week ago.

The Illinois Department of Public Health reported results of 48,684 tests today, down dramatically from Sunday’s 79,296.

The IDPH reported tests of 295 Evanston residents today. It found seven positive cases for a positive rate of 2.4%.

The state now says Evanston has had a total of 1,292 cases.

The city now says Evanston has had a total of 1,294 cases. The city’s death toll from the pandemic remained unchanged today at 73.

Here are the latest seven-day positive rates for some other communities:

  • Chicago 5.7%, up from 4.0% a week ago.
  • Skokie 3.6%, up from 3.1% a week ago.
  • Wilmette 4.6%, up from 3.4% a week ago.

Chicago reported 566 new cases today for a total of 89,958. Its coronavirus death toll increased by one today to 3,017.

Suburban Cook County reported 720 more cases today for a total of 75,240 and six more deaths for a total of 2,347.

Gov. Pritzker said that amid a national landscape of increasing positive rates, the states bordering Illinois have become national hotspots, with positive rates as high as nearly 25%.

Illinois can’t be walled off from the surge, Pritzker said, “but we can take extra precautions and slow the spread.” And he noted that more is known now about how to monitor and address the pandemic than was known in the spring when the first wave of the coronavirus hit Illinois.

Those who died in Cook County today included a man in his 50s, a man and a woman in their 70s, two women and a man in their 80s and a man in his 90s.

The state now has 347,161 COVID-19 cases, and it reported 22 more deaths today for a total of 9,236.

As of last night, 2,096 people in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19. Of those, 485 patients were in the ICU and 179 of those were on ventilators.

The latest COVID-19 charts for Evanston and Illinois

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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