Midwest Governors and Chicago-area mayors urge safety ahead of holidays

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Governor Pritzker joined governors from surrounding states to issue a video statement on holiday safety amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Information provided by the Governor’s Office and the South Suburban Mayors and Managers Association

LANSING, Ill. (November 17, 2020) – Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker, Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb, Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, and Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers joined together in a social media video to encourage everyone across the region to remain safe and “mask up” heading into the holiday season:

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Additionally, the 275 Member Mayors of the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus called upon residents and businesses to commit to some common sense steps to help the Chicago region flatten the COVID-19 curve for the second time.

Best practices to flatten the COVID-19 curve

Acknowledging the need to combat the exponential increases in COVID cases across Chicagoland and the State in recent weeks, regional Mayors are asking area residents and businesses to take the following actions for at least the next three weeks or until the rate of infection consistently declines:
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  • Continue to comply with regulations to wear face coverings whenever you are indoors at a public place or outdoors encountering people outside of your immediate household. The Center for Disease Control reinforced the importance of face masks last week, saying they protect both the wearer and individuals they may encounter;
  • When leaving home, continue to practice social distancing by always staying 6-feet apart from others;
  • Continue to wash hands or use hand sanitizer often. Avoid touching surfaces frequently touched by others and keep your hands off your face;
  • Consider limiting trips outside your home to going to work, attending school, and obtaining vital goods and services, such as medical care, food, or household essentials;
  • Limit gatherings to no more than 10 persons—and remember it is safest to only associate with members of your own household;
  • If possible, avoid all non-essential travel.

Most of the requested actions are strategies recommended to residents since the pandemic began. These strategies are still on the regional Mayors’ recommendation list because of their history of successfully reducing coronavirus transmission. Newer recommended actions such as limiting trips and gatherings are consistent with those proposed by area public health officials. While each of our 275 member municipalities is unique, they all agree that it is critically important that we come together in the days and weeks ahead to combat the coronavirus pandemic. Endorsing these strategies is one of the most coherent methods for dealing with the current increase of positivity results, hospitalizations, and loss of life.

One of the main thresholds public health officials use to determine the severity of the spread of the coronavirus is when ICU bed utilization approaches 75-80%. Region 7 which includes Will and Kankakee Counties is now at 88 percent ICU capacity. Regions 8 (DuPage and Kane Counties), 9 (Lake and McHenry Counties), 10 (suburban Cook County) and 11 (Chicago) are projected to exceed 75 % in the next few weeks.

“We are at a critical point in the fight against the pandemic. This second wave requires serious attention from all of us,” said Mayor Joseph Tamburino, Mayor of the Village of Hillside. “Everyone needs to step up right now to bend the curve downward, save lives and help our businesses remain open or in some cases, to re-open.”

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