New COVID-19 mitigation plan, regions announced

On Wednesday, July 15 public health officials and Illinois Governor JB Pritzker laid out a new COVID-19 mitigation plan, metrics and revised regions for monitoring the pandemic’s impact on Illinois. 

Metrics and Mitigation

The following metrics will be used to determine when the spread of the virus in a region requires additional mitigations:

  • Sustained increase in 7-day rolling average (7 out of 10 days) in the positivity rate and one of the following severity indicators:
    • Sustained 7-day increase in hospital admissions for a COVID-19 like illness
    • Reduction in hospital capacity threatening surge capabilities (ICU capacity or medical/surgical beds < 20%)
  • OR three consecutive days averaging ≥ 8% positivity rate
  • The updated guidance from IDPH establishes three tiers of mitigations that could be implemented if a region were to meet the resurgence metrics.
     

Mitigation strategies in high-risk settings, like bars and restaurants, will be automatically applied in a region that meets resurgence criteria. Mitigation strategies for settings like retail, fitness, and salons will be available if testing and contact tracing data at the local level indicate those mitigations are advisable.

Mitigation Plan Regions

These mitigation strategies will be applied on a regional basis. The new 11 regions for this mitigation plan are based on Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Regions, which have traditionally guided IDPH in its statewide public health work. Expanding to 11 regions allows for a more granular approach in this phase of the response to COVID-19. The new regions follow county lines to account for counties that are in more than one region of the EMS system. 

The new regions include:

  1. NORTH:Boone, Carroll, DeKalb, Jo Daviess, Lee, Ogle, Stephenson, Whiteside, Winnebago
  2. NORTH-CENTRAL:Bureau, Fulton, Grundy, Henderson, Henry, Kendall, Knox, La Salle, Livingston, Marshall, McDonough, McLean, Mercer, Peoria, Putnam, Rock Island, Stark, Tazewell, Warren, Woodford
  3. WEST-CENTRAL:Adams, Brown, Calhoun, Cass, Christian, Greene, Hancock, Jersey, Logan, Macoupin, Mason, Mason, Menard, Montgomery, Morgan, Pike, Sangamon, Schuyler, Scott
  4. METRO EAST:Bond, Clinton, Madison, Monroe, Randolph, St. Clair, Washington
  5. SOUTHERN:Alexander, Edwards, Franklin, Gallatin, Hamilton, Hardin, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Marion, Massac, Perry, Pope, Pulaski, Saline, Union, Wabash, Wayne, White, Williamson
  6. EAST-CENTRAL: Champaign, Clark, Clay, Coles, Crawford, Cumberland, De Witt, Douglas, Edgar, Effingham, Fayette, Ford, Iroquois, Jasper, Lawrence, Macon, Moultrie, Piatt, Richland, Shelby, Vermillion
  7. SOUTH SUBURBAN:Kankakee, Will 
  8. WEST SUBURBAN:DuPage, Kane 
  9. NORTH SUBURBAN:Lake, McHenry
  10. SUBURBAN COOK:Suburban Cook 
  11. CHICAGO:City of Chicago

Contact Tracing

In recent weeks the state’s contract tracing operation has expanded. Today, 1,450 contact tracers are working across Illinois. In the next week, 26 local health departments will receive additional funding from the state totaling more than $127 million of available grant funds for contact tracing. These funds will enable local health departments to hire approximately 1,330 more contact tracers in the coming months to further expand these efforts.

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