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Eleven Illinois counties are under warning for a COVID-19 outbreak, according to a news release sent out Friday from the Illinois Department of Public Health.
Only one of the counties - Jo Daviess in northwestern Illinois – is north of Interstate 80.
The 11 counties currently at a warning level include: Cass, Gallatin, Jackson, Jo Daviess, Johnson, Perry, Randolph, Saline, Sangamon, St. Clair, and White.
These counties saw outbreaks associated with business operations and activities posing higher risk for disease spread, according to the news release.
Those activities and operations include:
• school graduation ceremonies
• a rise in cases among late teens and 20s, parties and social gatherings
• people going to bars
• long-term care outbreaks
• clusters of cases associated with restaurants and churches
• big sports events including soccer, golf, and softball tournaments.
"Residents of many communities are not wearing face coverings that have been proven to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Public health officials are finding that most contacts to cases are testing positive as well," according to the release.
Several counties are taking action and implementing mitigation measures to help slow the spread of the virus. Examples include the mayor of Springfield requiring bar employees to wear masks or be subject to fines, Perry County hospitals and nursing homes temporarily suspending visitors, and the state’s attorney in Jackson County allowing the local food ordinance to be used to enforce COVID-19 guidance at restaurants and bars.