Cook County issues new guidance for suburban businesses as positivity rate increases


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OAK FOREST, Ill. – The Cook County Department of Public Health has issued a new guidance for suburban businesses as the positivity rate in the county has increased.

Bars and establishments that do not serve food are being asked to serve customers outdoors only.

On July 31, 2020, the positivity rate was 5.8% in suburban Cook County, up from 5.2% July 22.

“We get it. It’s summer. Young people are tired of the restrictions,” said Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. “But the virus is still with us. We need to get the word out and encourage young people to be patient. Physical distancing and wearing a mask is the minimum we need people to do to protect themselves and their friends and family.

The new measures include:

  • Bars, taverns, breweries and other establishments that serve alcohol for on-site consumption without a retail food license are being asked to serve customers outdoors only.
  • Restaurants that serve alcohol need to continue to abide by ongoing COVID-19 guidance and existing regulations.
  • Maximum party size and table occupancy at restaurants, bars, taverns, and breweries should be reduced to 6 people (indoor or outdoor).
  • Indoor fitness class size should be reduced to a maximum of 10 people.
  • Personal service businesses should discontinue services (shaves, facials) that require the removal of face coverings.
  • Residential property managers should limit guest entry to 6 people per unit to avoid indoor gatherings and parties. In addition, businesses and workplaces should:
  • Institute remote work for high-risk individuals and continue to support telework for as many workers as possible.
  • Retail establishments should maintain no more than 50% capacity, which is the current recommendation.

On Monday, the state announced 1,298 new coronavirus cases and 10 additional deaths.

A new statewide advertising campaign launched Monday will encourage people to wear face coverings and follow other health guidelines to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease.

Pritzker said the state is rolling out the new campaign as 11 counties in Illinois are considered to be at the state’s “warning” level of coronavirus infections.


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