Coronavirus (COVID-19) Newsletter—September 11, 2020

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Lake County Health Department Coronavirus (COVID-19) Newsletter

September 11, 2020


Last week, we announced that Lake County entered the orange ‘Warning Level’ on the Illinois Department of Public Health’s County Level COVID-19 Risk Metrics map. Our county was put on alert because two specific indicators showed increasing COVID-19 risk. From August 23-29, case rates were climbing, and deaths had increased from the week before.

Today, the state’s map shows that Lake County is once again in the blue, based on data from August 30-September 3.

What does this mean for me?

COVID-19 is still spreading in our communities, and we continue to ask you to follow the 3 Ws – Wear a mask, Wash your hands, and Watch your distance around others. These are the basic steps that will keep us safe. Make them part of your normal routine! Remember that spending time with people outside of your household adds to your risk. Make sure to keep following precautions, even around the people you trust the most.

Will Lake County stay in the blue?

The Health Department can’t predict how long we will stay in blue. The data changes weekly. We will be flagged as orange again if two indicators don’t meet the state targets. Right now, one indicator, New Cases per 100,000, remains at a warning level in Lake County. Last week, we had 95 new cases per 100,000 people. The state’s target is 50 cases per 100,000. If another indicator hits a warning, we could enter the orange level again.

How is this different than the Region 9 Metrics?

We received a lot of questions from residents this past week about the regional metrics, where data in Lake and McHenry counties are being tracked as Region 9. These are separate metrics from the county risk level metrics. If our region has a testing positivity rate of 8% or above for three days, or we see increases in hospitalizations and decreases in hospital bed availability, we would need to implement additional mitigation measures across our region. These would be chosen based on trends we are seeing in our counties, such as cases being linked to a specific industry, like bars and restaurants, or type of activity, like organized sports.

As of September 8, the Region 9 testing positivity rate is 6.5%. Hospital admissions and bed capacity remain relatively stable in our region.

National Suicide Prevention Week — September 6-12


During the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever to share resources for those who may struggle with mental health. A recent report from the CDC found that in June, 40% of U.S. adults struggled with mental health or substance use. Among those, 11% said they seriously considered suicide.

Suicide is preventable. Help is available. For resources, visit the CDC’s page on managing stress and anxiety during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you are experiencing a mental health crisis, call our Crisis Care Program to speak with a Crisis Counselor at (847) 377-8088 or by walking in at 3002 Grand Avenue, Waukegan. We are here for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Other resources, like 211, Text-a-Tip, and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline are also available to help those in need. Learn more about these resources and how you can help prevent suicide here.

The Lake County Suicide Prevention Task Force is hosting its 8th Annual 5K Walk for Awareness and Suicide Prevention virtually this year. The event will take place Saturday, September 19 on Facebook Live. This is a chance to fight stigma and show your support for a great cause. To stay safe, please follow COVID-19 precautions and walk wherever comfortable. This could be at a local downtown, forest preserve, neighborhood, or even on a treadmill! Visit the task force’s Facebook page or register for the walk on Eventbrite.

Lake County Update


Flu Season is Almost Here. Get Your Flu Shot!

During the COVID-19 pandemic, flu shots are more important than ever before. Because COVID-19 and the flu are caused by different viruses, it is possible to get sick from both, even at the same time. Getting the flu vaccine this season helps protect yourself and others with from influenza.

The CDC recommends the flu shot for anyone 6 months of age and older with some rare exceptions. Visit the CDC’s page on how to prevent the flu to learn more.

Thank You Illinois Students

Thank you students

For students across Lake County, the start of the 2020 school year has been different than usual. We know that it has been hard to adjust to new guidelines and styles of learning.

We are grateful to all of the young people who are taking steps to keep their communities safe. When you wear a mask, wash your hands, and maintain social distancing, you are making an impact.

Watch the video thanking Illinois Students for going All In here

Lake County COVID-19 Cases

As of September 11, 2020, 15,592 Lake County residents have tested positive for COVID-19, including 455 deaths.

Our Coronavirus Data Hub  provides data and resources for our county, including cases and deaths, tests performed, demographic data, and an interactive map and charts. 

View the Lake County, IL Coronavirus Data Hub 

Disasters Don’t Wait. Make Your Plan Today.


September is National Preparedness Month. This is a time to consider disaster planning as a family and community. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown ways that government agencies, like the Lake County Health Department have used emergency preparedness to respond. Personal protective equipment (PPE) distribution to first responders, case investigation, and more is made possible by emergency preparedness efforts As a resident you can be prepared to:

  • Make a plan to communicate if there is a disaster. Ensure that this is up to date to account for COVID-19.
  • Build a kit with supplies that you may need. Include COVID-19 materials like hand sanitizer, masks, and disinfectant.
  • Prepare for events common in your area. Know the risks that you face where you live. Act fast if you receive a local alert.
  • Talk to your kids about preparedness. Make sure they know what to do if you are separated.

Considerations for Bars and Restaurants

As more restaurants and bars open, there are steps to take to limit the risks for customers and staff. The CDC’s page bars and restaurants has things for restaurant owners to consider. Remember, there are different levels of risk depending on the setting. Situations with the least risk have food service limited to drive-through, delivery, take-out, and curbside pickup. Risk increases the more an individual interacts with others and the longer that interaction is.

Watch the CDC video on considerations for Bars and Restaurants here

Staying Active

As we head into the colder months, it is important to stay active. Physical activity is vital to physical and mental health. If your usual fitness options are limited due to the COVID-19 pandemic, consider at-home alternatives such as yoga or calisthenics. If you are visiting a fitness center during the pandemic, please remember to take steps to protect yourself and others. Maintain social distancing, wear a mask, wash your hands, and take additional precautions. Visit the CDC’s page on visiting a gym to learn more.

Lake County Virtual Town Hall

featured 600x314 virtual town hall

Lake County is holding its third live Virtual Town Hall on Wednesday, September 30 at 7 p.m. Hosted by Lake County Board Chair Sandy Hart, panelists will discuss the most current information about how COVID-19 is impacting Lake County, relief efforts including programs that have provided funding to Lake County businesses and residents who have been financially impacted, and information about voting in the November General Election.

Date: Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2020

Time: 7 p.m.

Register to attend through this link

Chair Hart will be joined by the following panelists who will provide updates and answer questions from the community.

  • Paul Frank, Chair, Lake County Financial and Administrative Special Committee on COVID-19 Recovery
  • Mark Pfister, Executive Director, Lake County Health Department
  • Robin O'Connor, Lake County Clerk
  • Other Lake County staff and partners

This virtual meeting will be hosted through Zoom. Attendees can view and listen to the meeting through their computer, tablet, or phone. Information on how to access the meeting is sent to the email address provided upon registration.

If you would like to take part in this event, make sure to register. Lake County will publish a recording of the virtual town hall for those who are unable to attend on Sept. 30.

Follow the 3 Ws

dividerFollow the 3 W's

Who to Contact if You Have Questions


Do you have questions? The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has established a COVID-19 hotline and email address to answer questions from the public:

For additional information from the IDPH, visit:

COVID-19 Resources


Community Guidance and Resources

Protect yourself and your community. Our Information for Specific Groups page is now Community Guidance and Resources. This page is more user-friendly and has information to help residents stay safe and informed. 


Communication Resources

We need your help to keep our communities healthy and safe. The Lake County Health Department, Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offer free resources including fact sheets, flyers, posters, and videos.

View communication resources

Useful Links


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