State sees 1,773 new coronavirus cases, 12 additional deaths

The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity rate from August 10 through August 16 is 4.2% — a slight uptick from a week ago when the positivity rate stood at 4.1%.

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Workers check in residents at a mobile COVID-19 testing site set up on a vacant lot in the Austin neighborhood on June 23, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois.

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - JUNE 23: Workers check in residents at a mobile COVID-19 testing site set up on a vacant lot in the Austin neighborhood on June 23, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois.

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State health officials on Monday announced 1,773 new coronavirus cases and 12 additional deaths.

Illinois is averaging more than 1,700 new cases each day this month — up sharply from July’s daily average of 1,150.

The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity rate from August 10 through August 16 is 4.2% — a slight uptick from a week ago when the positivity rate stood at 4.1%.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker has repeatedly warned people that if a region surpasses certain thresholds — including percentage of people testing positive, hospital capacity and rising hospital admissions — officials will tighten restrictions.

The first region to experience a roll back in its reopening is the Metro East region in southern Illinois, which has surpassed an 8% positivity rate for three consecutive days.

Starting Tuesday, Metro East — an area near St. Louis that includes Bond, Clinton, Madison, Monroe, Randolph, St. Clair and Washington counties — will face tighter restrictions, mainly affecting bars, restaurants and social gatherings. Under the new mitigation requirements, bars and restaurants must close by 11 p.m. There will be no party buses and all reception halls will be closed. Group gatherings will be limited to just 25 people or 25% of the venue’s capacity, whichever is less.

Elizabeth Patton-Whiteside, the administrator of the East Side Health District, which serves several townships just east of St. Louis, was unhappy about the step backwards and did not mince words Monday.

“If I sound like an angry black woman, I am ... I am tired. My staff is tired. The legislators are tired. Why? We’ve got a job to do, but so do you,” Patton-Whiteside said.

“Within my jurisdiction, I have numerous strip clubs, regular night clubs, what seems to be a liquor store and a church on every corner and poor citizens who are predominantly African American and Latino,” she said. “This is a mecca of the comorbidity for coronavirus. I’m talking high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, respiratory and cardiac issues — and poverty. This is a breeding ground for the coronavirus. So people, you need to wake up, you need to step up, you need to do better.”

She urged people not to congregate in “large, unprotected areas or groups,”

“Your buddy that you’re hanging with on the corner, in the park and church at parties or even at funerals may be passing your casket next week,” she said.

Health officials have attributed the recent uptick in cases in Illinois to outbreaks among young people, especially 20- to 29-year-olds who account for nearly 19% of the state’s total cases.

The state’s total number of cases stands at 207,854. The total death toll is 7,756.

The vast majority of COVID-19 patients — about 95% — have recovered.

Also Monday, a city of Chicago task force charged with preventing large, commercial gatherings at businesses or residential locations announced it had temporarily closed down five restaurants and bars that were violation of reopening regulations.

Here are the businesses why they were temporarily closed:

Barba Yianni, 4761 N. Lincoln, received a closure order and two citations for operating over capacity indoors (80+ people), operating after midnight, social distancing violations and no face coverings.

Juanita’s Restaurant #2, 6539-41 W. 63rd St, received a closure order and two citations for operating over capacity indoors (70+ people), operating after midnight, social distancing violations and no face coverings.

Retro Café, 3246 N. Central, received a closure order and two citations for operating after midnight, social distancing violations and no face coverings.

Estrella Blanca Nightclub, 3049 N. Cicero, received a closure order and two citations for allowing patrons to consume alcohol indoors without a retail food license and no face coverings.

Second Time Around, 8301 W. Irving Park, received a closure order and two citations for operating after midnight.

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