pexels christina morillo 1181472GLENVIEW – In response to increasing COVID-19 case counts and hospitalizations in the region, stricter mitigation measures took effect in suburban Cook County this week, prompting State Senator Laura Fine (D-Glenview) to remind business owners to apply for available aid and encourage residents to patronize small businesses.

“I’m as frustrated as anyone to see our region taking a step back, but these mitigations are necessary to keep our community safe,” Fine said. “Higher rates of COVID-19 mean a higher risk for everyone, including the elderly, those with underlying conditions and our health care workers. We owe it to them to do what we can to stop the upward trend of infections.”

Region 10 experienced eight consecutive days of increases in test positivity and seven days of increased hospital admissions, surpassing warning levels in both categories and triggering enhanced mitigation measures under the state's Restore Illinois Resurgence Plan.

Under this framework, the Illinois Department of Public Health has imposed stricter rules on bars and restaurants, including:

• Bars and restaurants must close at 11 p.m. and may not serve patrons indoors.
• Patrons may not stand or congregate while waiting for a table or exiting.
• All tables should be 6 feet apart, and different parties may not be seated at the same table.
• Reservations are required for each party to assist with contact tracing.

Find the full list of resurgence mitigations here. These measures took effect in Region 10 starting at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 28.

To help businesses cope with the negative impacts of the pandemic, Fine urges business owners to apply for a Business Interruption Grant, through which $220 million in aid is available to Illinois small businesses, with priority given to those in regions under increased mitigation measures.

Fine also encourages residents to support the local restaurants and businesses working hard to follow health and safety guidelines.

“In addition to state and federal aid, our businesses need support from the community,” said Fine. “Order delivery or carryout, purchase a gift card, refer a friend or even engage your favorite businesses on social media to lend them a helping hand.”