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Message from Mayor Rotering: COVID-19 Resurgence Concerns

Message from Mayor Nancy Rotering:
COVID-19 Resurgence Concerns
July 31, 2020
Action Needed Now
After a month of fewer restrictions, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is watching signs of early, but significant increases of COVID-19 transmission, indicating a resurgence in our state. These indicators are calculated individually for eleven regions - we are in Region 9 (Lake and McHenry Counties). In June, our region was near a 3% positivity rate of infection. Today we are at 5.3%. If we hit 8% for three or more days, restrictions will return in an effort to slow the rise in infection.
A sustained 8% positivity rate is not the only metric that could result in tighter restrictions. A 7-day overall increase in the positivity rate coupled with either an increase in hospital admissions or a decrease in hospital surge capacity could also result in additional restrictions. IDPH will monitor these indicators to determine whether additional community mitigation interventions (shut-downs) are needed to control the further spread of disease. 
Once a region meets resurgence criteria (for example, hits a sustained 8% positivity rate), then reductions and shut-downs from the State's tiered chart will be put in effect. If the rise in cases doesn't start to plateau or diminish, further restrictions will be added. We are once again trying to flatten the curve.
Below is the State's tiered chart that provides guidelines towards mitigation efforts. 
Who is getting sick? Here is the chart for Lake County by age cohort. 
Click here and scroll down to access the Lake County interactive map showing COVID cases in Highland Park.
Because the City of Highland Park does not have its own public health department, all testing questions should be emailed to the Lake County Health Department (LCHD) at
What can we do?
Needless to say, in an effort to reduce going backwards, we each need to stick to the clear precautions:
  • wear a mask indoors at public places and when we can't socially distance outdoors
  • wash hands well and frequently
  • maintain social distance
  • avoid large gatherings
  • quarantine for 14 days if returning from a COVID hot-spot like Wisconsin, Iowa or Missouri (see below)
We know that a major challenge of this disease is asymptomatic spread. People may feel fine, but can spread the disease to those who are more fragile in our community. If we each take the responsibility of prevention seriously, we can reduce the risks to everyone.
Further information regarding the City's response to COVID-19 is available at
Quarantine Guidelines
Last week, the City issued a recommendation urging residents returning from states experiencing widespread COVID-19 community transmission levels to self-quarantine at home for 14 days. This recommendation is consistent with guidance from the LCHD and follows related information from Chicago and Cook County.
People are urged to self-quarantine at home for 14 days following inbound travel from: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Wisconsin. This list is subject to change pending updated public health data regarding community transmission of COVID-19. Updates can be found at
The guidance from the City and LCHD do not constitute bans on travel to these areas. Those who travel are reminded to follow public health best practices such as wearing a face covering, regularly washing hands, and socially distancing from others.
Self-isolating at home for 14 days after travel is a precaution that will help minimize the spread of COVID-19 in our community and could potentially save lives. Without these extra precautions, cases could potentially increase and our collective sacrifice as a community will be wasted. By working together, we can continue to keep each other safe.
Support is Available
While this news is disconcerting, remember, we are a strong and compassionate community and we will get through this. Unfortunately, this virus is with us for the time-being. We need to not only be cautious, but we also need to encourage and support each other as we try to regain our bearings during the ever-changing climate of this pandemic. As one of my favorite writers says, "Find ways to show love. We all could use some right now."
If you are feeling overwhelmed, you are not alone. We are experiencing many transitions and unknowns, and pandemic fatigue is a real phenomenon.
  • Family Service of Lake County is located in Highland Park and provides quick, confidential access to a counselor. They can also be reached at 847-432-4981.
  • The State of Illinois is offering Call 4 Calm, a free emotional support text line available in English and Spanish. Text TALK to 552020 or HABLAR to 552020 to immediately speak with a mental health professional.
  • 211 Lake County also provides a broad range of support via text and phone calls. Just dial or text 211 or go to 211 Lake County is a combined effort of area health and human service providers as well as the Lake County Government. Services are provided in English and Spanish as well as 150 other languages.
  • Moraine Township and West Deerfield Township are available to provide assistance through food pantries, financial aid to assure basic life necessities, transportation to medical care, and more.
Support is nearby. Don't hesitate to reach out.
Take care and be well,
Mayor, City of Highland Park, IL