COVID-19 cases continue to rise locally

Suburban Cook County under stay-at-home advisory

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By Maria Maxham

Last week, there were 53 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Forest Park, a 136 percent rise in confirmed cases in the past two weeks.

In total, there have been 540 confirmed cases among Forest Park residents since the beginning of the pandemic, according to the Cook County Department of Public Health (CCDPH). The town has seen 13 resident deaths from COVID-19.

Suburban Cook County, which includes Forest Park, is part of Region 10 in Illinois' division of the state to control COVID-19. Region 10 has seen a steady increase in the 7-day rolling positivity rate of COVID, reaching 15.9 percent on Nov. 13. The threshold set by the state is 8 percent.

The region has experienced nine days of hospital admission increases on a 7-day rolling average, according to CCPDH. However, hospital bed capacity is still above the state-set threshold. Medical surge bed availability is at 24 percent and ICU bed availability at 30 percent; the threshold for both is 20 percent.

Currently, Region 10 is under a stay-at-home advisory under guidance put out by the CCDPH on Nov. 13. The guidance recommends the following:

  • Stay Home. Residents are encouraged to stay home except for non-essential activities, such as work, school, getting tested for COVID-19, getting a flu shot, or getting groceries. When out, wear a mask. Avoid close contact with others and stay 6 feet away from people who don't live with you. Wash your hands often.
  • Limit gatherings. Don't attend or host parties or gatherings with people who don't live in your household. This includes postponing holiday gatherings or hosting virtual celebrations instead.
  • Limit travel. Don't engage in non-essential travel.
  • Work from home. Anyone who can work from home should do so.

"Now more than ever, we must come together to stay apart," said Dr. Rachel Rubin, CCDPH senior medical officer and co-lead. "We know limiting gatherings with friends and family can be hard, but we also know that virtual celebrations will save lives."

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