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Residents urged to stay home if possible as COVID-19 surge gains steam

This graph shows trends in cases (the dark line) and deaths (the gold bars) in Illinois since the COVID-19 pandemic began. The two reports are at different scales but show the trajectories in each category.

This graph shows trends in cases (the dark line) and deaths (the gold bars) in Illinois since the COVID-19 pandemic began. The two reports are at different scales but show the trajectories in each category.

A few weeks ago, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said he was not planning to implement another statewide stay-at-home order and expected to use regional mitigation efforts to control the fall surge of COVID-19. 

All 11 regions are now under additional mitigation orders that limit gathering sizes and ban indoor bar and restaurant service, and case numbers continue to climb. 

On Wednesday, state health officials issued recommendations that resembled the spring order but did not appear to be compulsory, asking residents to stay home as much as possible. 

The recommendations include: 
Work from home if possible. For the next three weeks, work with your employer to plan to work from home unless it is necessary for you to be in the workplace. The state is asking employers to make accommodations for workers in order to reduce transmission as the holidays approach so businesses and schools can remain open.
Participate in essential activities only. For the next three weeks, stay home as much as possible, leaving only for necessary and essential activities, such as work that must be performed outside the home, COVID-19 testing, visiting the pharmacy and buying groceries.
Limit travel and gatherings. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other health experts tell us that gatherings and travel in and out of communities present a high risk of spreading the infection. In our current situation, with a rising prevalence of the virus, attending even small gatherings that mix households, or traveling to areas that are experiencing high rates of positivity, is not advised and is potentially dangerous.  Please, travel only if necessary.

The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 12,702 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, a new record. The 145 additional deaths reported on Wednesday was the highest daily total since 160 on May 27. The record for deaths in one day is 192 on May 13. 

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