cook county covid

Watch Live: Cook County to Update on COVID Restrictions

Note: The event can be watched live in the video player above beginning at around 2:30 p.m.

Cook County health officials will give an update Wednesday on whether or not COVID restrictions will be tightened as the county sees coronavirus metrics rise.

Drs. Kiran Joshi and Rachel Rubin, co-leads of the Cook County Department of Public Health, will hold a media availability at 2:30 p.m. to "discuss their decision whether to tighten mitigation regulations and guidelines for indoor and outdoor gatherings," the county said.

Joshi and Rubin will share their decision as well as the "the applicable data points and trends," the county said.

The update comes days after Rubin warned that the county could see some previous mitigations return amid what appeared to be the beginning of a third surge of the pandemic.

Both the city of Chicago and Cook County have each recently seen more than 600 new daily cases, Rubin said Saturday. Just a few weeks prior, Rubin said approximately 250 cases were reported each day.

The daily positivity rate in COVID testing has also increased, standing at 6.4% for the last few days as of Wednesday. The seven-day rolling average positivity rate is at 5%.

Officials in Chicago have expressed concern over a “quantum leap” in coronavirus cases, saying that a failure to curtail those gains could cause some restrictions to be re-imposed after they were loosened earlier this year.

"The data has shown it is not necessarily outdoor activities, but indoor, so these are the kind of things we have to evaluate and look at the data," Rubin said Saturday.

As is the case in Chicago, Rubin said cases are spiking in Cook County's younger population, particularly people in their 20s and 30s who are part of the age group that does not have widespread access to the vaccines yet.

Late last month, Cook County announced the gradual reduction of COVID-19 mitigation measures, particularly on outdoor gatherings, in alignment with the city's easing of restrictions.

The updated capacity limits include:

  • Outdoor Dining: Groups of 10 people
  • Amusement Parks: Can open at 25% capacity
  • Outdoor Fitness Classes, Meetings, Social Events and Recreation Activities: Can increase to 50% capacity or 100 people
  • Seated Spectator Events: Venues with a capacity less than 200 are limited to 50% and no more than 50 individuals. Larger venues with a capacity of more than 200 are limited to 25% capacity.

Indoor service remained limited to the lesser of 50 patrons or 50% capacity per room.

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