A 74-year-old man died from COVID-19 on Dec. 22, bringing Forest Park’s total death count due to coronavirus, since the beginning of the pandemic, up to 25 residents.

Since Nov. 20, all 11 Illinois COVID Regions, including Region 10, suburban Cook County, have been under Tier 3 mitigation orders, which prohibit restaurants and bars from serving customers indoors, among many other restrictions.

To move into Tier 2, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), a region must experience the following:

–        Less than 12 percent positivity rate, on a seven-day rolling average, for 3 consecutive days,

–        Greater than 20 percent available intensive care unit and medical/surgical bed availability (on a 3-day rolling average) for 3 consecutive days,

–        And a decline in the number of COVID-19 patients in the hospital (on a 7-day rolling average) in 7 out of the last 10 days.

Region 10 meets almost all the criteria to move back into Tier 2 mitigations as of Dec. 28, with 11 days under 12 percent positivity rate; 10 days of decreases in COVID-19 patient hospitalizations; and 3 consecutive days over the 20 percent threshold for medical and surgical beds.

The one factor holding the region back from moving down to Tier 2, which comes with fewer restrictions on businesses, is the ICU bed availability, which as of Dec. 28 was only 2 days over the 20 percent threshold. A 3-day rolling average of consecutive days must be maintained.

And, at any time, the region could fall back if the positivity rate increases or more COVID-19 patients are hospitalized.