Coronavirus (COVID-19) Newsletter — November 13, 2020

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Lake County Health Department Coronavirus (COVID-19) Newsletter

November 13, 2020

Stay Home to Slow the Spread

stay home

On Wednesday, November 11, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) issued recommendations to combat the rapid spread of COVID-19 in Illinois. Now is the time to step up our efforts to protect our families and community. Recommendations for the next three weeks include:

  • Work from home if possible.
  • Participate in essential activities only and stay home as much as possible.
  • Limit travel and gatherings.

These efforts along with practicing the 3 Ws can help us slow the spread of COVID-19 in our communities.



We are less than two weeks away from Thanksgiving. If you get infected with COVID-19 between now and then - symptoms or no symptoms - you could bring the virus to your family gathering. Please consider alternative celebrations to protect those you love and follow the 3 Ws every single time you are around others — Wear a mask, Wash your hands, Watch your distance. You can learn more about staying safe this holiday season at

2 week

Region 9 Update


Lake County remains at ‘orange’ COVID-19 risk level on the IDPH County Level Risk Metrics Map and Region 9 remains in mitigation under the state's Restore Illinois Resurgence Plan.

What is the difference between ‘orange’ risk level and Region 9 mitigation?

Being at the ‘orange’ level means that there are warning signs of increased COVID-19 risk in Lake County. This is determined using the IDPH County Level Risk Metrics Map. This risk level is meant to help individuals and families make choices about activities and gatherings. The metrics are updated weekly.

Region 9 includes Lake and McHenry counties. Regions in the Restore Illinois plan are based on the state’s 11 Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Regions. These regions can have restrictions applied on a regional basis. Regional metrics are updated daily.

Currently, Region 9 is in Tier 1 mitigation because both the COVID-19 testing positivity rate and hospitalizations in our region continue to climb. Mitigations are intended to limit situations where the virus can easily spread. Tier 1 mitigation measures remain in effect until the region’s positivity rate averages less than or equal to 6.5% over a 3-day period.

What could lead to increased mitigation?

Region 9 will soon face additional restrictions if our metrics do not improve. Tier 2 and 3 mitigation measures include restrictions on retail, salons, gyms, and other industries. Learn more.

IDPH continues to track the regional metrics to determine if mitigations can be relaxed, if additional mitigations are required, or if current mitigation should remain in place. Governor Pritzker and the IDPH announced  Tier 2 mitigations that went into effect on November 11 for Region 4 (Bond, Clinton, Madison, Monroe, Randolph, St. Clair, and Washington counties), Region 7 (Will and Kankakee counties), and Region 8 (Kane and DuPage counties).

What steps should be taken?

Due to increased risk of COVID-19 spread, please reconsider activities that could be unsafe.  

Practice the 3 Ws: Wear a mask, Wash your hands, and Watch your distance.

Remember, don’t let your guard down just because you are around people you trust. Take precautions any time you are with others who don’t live in your household.

Answer the Call (or text) to Slow the Spread


In order to slow the spread of COVID-19, the Health Department uses contact tracing to notify people that they have been exposed. The contact tracing process consists of reaching out to those who have tested positive, offering guidance and support, and identifying the person’s close contacts.

If you get a call or text from 312-777-1999 or IL COVID Help, please respond as soon as possible. Answering is extremely important, as it helps us do contact tracing effectively.

Close contacts are notified, but no personal information is shared. People who need to self-quarantine for 14 days are asked to log their symptoms and get tested.

By answering the call, you are helping us slow the spread of COVID-19.

Where to Get Tested


Free COVID-19 testing is coming to Highwood, Round Lake, and Fox Lake. Please be aware that testing sites throughout the state are experiencing long wait times due to high demand.

Saturday, 11/21, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Round Lake High School
800 High School Dr., Round Lake

Wednesday, 11/25, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Highwood Public Library
102 Highwood Ave., Highwood

Sunday, 12/6, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Grant Community High School - South Lot
285 Grand Ave., Fox Lake

State-run Community-Based Testing Sites located in Waukegan (102 W. Water St.), Arlington Heights (2000 W Euclid Ave.), and Rockford (1601 Parkview Ave.) are open 7 days a week from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. Testing at these sites is free. For more information, visit the IDPH website.

Testing is free and open to all regardless of symptoms. A phone number and name are required in order to receive testing results. Photo identification and proof of insurance are helpful, but not required. High demand for testing may result in long wait times. Testing locations may close early due to inclement weather or if daily testing supplies are exhausted. Additional COVID-19 testing locations and information can be found at the Lake County Health Department or Illinois Department of Health websites.

Read the full press release to learn more about mobile testing.

Live Well Lake County


Lake County has many free and convenient opportunities for help and support during these difficult times. Just like a broken bone that needs a cast to heal, mental health challenges can and should be addressed, helping you feeling better supported and more like yourself. 

Through a federal CARES grant, several Lake County organizations are offering new services to providers and the community, including provider trainings, grief support groups, accessible and safe telehealth options, and harm reduction education to help prevent overdoses. Visit Live Well Lake County to learn more, or call 211 to get connected to resources.

Vaccine Update


On November 9, pharmaceutical company Pfizer announced that their vaccine that is currently in Phase 3 of testing was found to be more than 90% effective. This vaccine, if approved, will end up requiring two doses. Pfizer is seeking emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration which is likely to happen the third week of November.

Extensive testing and trials are done to make sure a vaccine is safe and effective. Once a vaccine is approved, it will also take time to manufacture and distribute. As we wait for a vaccine, we need to continue to take steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Learn more about vaccine standards and safety at the CDC page on the COVID-19 vaccine.

Lake County Update


Lake County COVID-19 Cases

As of November 13, 2020, 27,645 Lake County residents have tested positive for COVID-19, including 541 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 

New! Contact Tracing Data Available

Last week, the Illinois Department of Public Health published contact tracing data to its website. You can now track:

The Lake County Health Department has completed hiring our workforce of COVID-19 case investigators and contact tracers. Between August 1 and October 24, as our team grew, we attempted to reach over 95% of the county’s 8,105 reported cases, and successfully interviewed 5,991 people who were infected. We then were able to successfully notify 4,432 close contacts of their potential exposure. The more people we are able to reach, the more we can prevent the spread of COVID-19. Thank you for answering the call to help us protect our communities!

Higher Risk Groups

November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month and Diabetes Awareness Month. Those with underlying medical conditions are at an increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19. During the pandemic, it continues to be important to talk to your doctor and schedule regular exams.

Information regarding lung cancer and COVID-19 can be found through the Lung Cancer Research Foundation.

More information regarding diabetes and COVid-19 can be found on through the American Diabetes Association.

Learn more about underlying medical conditions and COVID-19.

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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