Illinois coronavirus: Cook County officials issue new guidelines as cases rise

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DES PLAINES, Ill. (WLS) – For now, the new COVID-19 guidelines in Cook County are voluntary, in part because they can be difficult for the county to enforce directly, but officials are urging compliance. From the Plains, the news of the new directives was disturbing.“Every day you wake up and something is different. Things change and you try to make the correct adaptations, “said Tommy Riemer, general manager of The Beacon Tap. Cook County officials have said suburban bars that don’t serve food should limit their service. outdoors only.

Beacon and other establishments that serve food can still do business inside.

Tables will be limited to six instead of ten.

“We have groups of twelve coming in, and we just put them at two separate tables, six at one table, and generally we don’t get any rejections because people understand what’s going on,” Riemer said.

The county has also limited suburban gym classes to a maximum of ten participants.

Salon services that require mask removal, including facials and shaves, also violate guidelines.
The guidelines, which mirror those of Chicago, are recommendations, not requirements.

“We don’t have the capacity to fine ourselves, but what we do is call them first and give them the appropriate advice over the phone,” said Dr Rachel Rubin, from the Department of Cook County Public Health. . “We are interviewing their management, and in general people have cooperated with us so far.”

The move came as suburban Cook County saw a test positivity rate of 5.8% compared to 5.2% a decade ago – a point higher than the test positivity rate in Chicago.

The growing number of 18 to 29 year olds testing positive for COVID-19 is behind the increase, officials said.

RELATED: Coronavirus Illinois: 1,298 New COVID-19 Cases, 10 Deaths

Officials said the increase in the number of cases was also due to clusters of cases resulting from large gatherings, including day camps, summer parties and large weddings.

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