Lake County Shows Warning Signs of Increased COVID-19 Risk

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For Immediate Release
Date: September 4, 2020
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Media Phone: 847-377-2001
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Lake County Shows Warning Signs of Increased COVID-19 Risk

Residents asked to remain vigilant to slow spread of the virus

Lake County, Ill. — The Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) risk level in Lake County has changed from blue to orange on the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) County Level Risk Metrics Map. An orange designation indicates warning signs of increased COVID-19 risk in the community.

Eight different indicators are used to determine a county’s designation. A county is considered at the orange ‘Warning’ level when at least two of the main indicators are going in the wrong direction. Individuals, families, and community groups should use this information to help inform their choices about personal and family gatherings, as well as what activities they choose to do. To view the IDPH county-level risk map, visit the County Level COVID-19 Risk Metrics webpage.

An increase in case rates and deaths from August 23–29 have led to the change to an orange 'Warning' designation for Lake County:

New Cases Per 100,000 People (Incidence Rate)

  • There were 95 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people reported last week in Lake County, an increase from 82 new cases per 100,000 people the previous week.
  • Cases among people ages 19–25 have driven the increase in recent weeks, including cases at Naval Station Great Lakes.
  • The target established by the state is less than 50 cases per 100,000 people.
  • Lake County incidence rates have exceeded the state’s target since mid-July.

Number of Deaths

  • There were 10 deaths in Lake County last week, up from 5 deaths the week before.
  • The target established by the state is for deaths to decrease or remain stable.
  • The number of deaths in Lake County decreased steadily from mid-June to mid-July. The number remained relatively stable, averaging less than 5 deaths per week, for 7 weeks before last week’s increase.

“These signs of increasing COVID-19 risk in Lake County should be a wake-up call heading into Labor Day weekend,” said Mark Pfister, Executive Director of the Lake County Health Department. “We need everyone to wear a mask, wash their hands often, and watch their distance. Reconsider your plans if they include risky activities and gatherings. If we follow these basic precautions consistently, we can slow the spread of COVID-19.”

Besides cases reported at Naval Station Great Lakes, the Health Department is currently investigating 24 COVID-19 outbreaks reported in a variety of settings since August 17. An outbreak is defined as at least one confirmed case plus a suspected case within a congregate living facility, or two or more linked cases in another setting.

Outbreaks August 17-September 3, 2020

“Recent investigations by our Communicable Disease team show increases in cases linked to private gatherings,” said Dr. Sana Ahmed, Medical Epidemiologist at the Health Department. “Remember, don’t let your guard down just because you are around people you trust—your friends, co-workers, and even family members. Take precautions every single time you are with others who don’t live in your household.”

The Health Department continues to work with businesses and many other facets of the community to prevent and control the spread of COVID-19. These efforts include increasing the accessibility of local COVID-19 testing, building the Lake County contact tracing workforce, coordinating with law enforcement officials to address executive order violations at businesses, and assisting schools and childcare providers with public health education and guidance. On August 28, 2020, the Health Department launched a School Decision Dashboard with data to inform school superintendents’ decisions to pursue in-person, hybrid, or in-person learning.

Additional Information:

The Lake County Health Department reported Lake County’s first COVID-19 case on March 11, 2020. As of September 3, 2020, 14,772 Lake County residents have tested positive for the disease, including 450 deaths. For more details, please visit the Coronavirus Data Hub, which is updated daily Mondays through Fridays at Due to the Labor Day holiday, the numbers will not be updated on Monday, September 7. Updates will resume on Tuesday, September 8.

Visit the Health Department’s Coronavirus web page,, for updates, testing information, community guidance and resources, answers to frequently asked questions, and to sign up for the Health Department’s weekly COVID-19 newsletter. General questions can be sent via email to

For trusted information on the COVID-19 pandemic from reputable state and federal sources, visit the State of IllinoisIllinois Department of Public Health, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) websites.


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Lake County Health Department
3010 Grand Avenue
Waukegan, Illinois 60085
(847) 377-8000