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Cook County threatens new mitigations if cases continue to rise

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"If the trend continues in the wrong direction we will not hesitate to tighten restrictions," said Dr. Rachel Rubin, Cook County Health Dept.

Video Transcript

MARK RIVERA: Bowling alley right here, Classic Bowl in Morton Grove, is just starting to pick up. But the Cook County Health Department says they are very concerned about a rise in COVID case numbers. And if things continue the way they are, more mitigations are coming.

RACHEL RUBIN: If the trend continues in the wrong direction, we will not hesitate to tighten restrictions.

MARK RIVERA: Cook County Health Dr. Rachel Rubin says after a sharp COVID uptick driven by young people, suburban Cook County health officials are eyeing more COVID restrictions in the coming weeks if cases and hospitalizations continue to climb.

RACHEL RUBIN: Our 20s and 30-year-olds and somewhat 40-year-olds that are the ones that are testing positive. Younger folks are also, as we know, the ones that are more likely to be out and about and maybe being a little bit less observant of the guidance, which means wearing masks.

MARK RIVERA: She says positivity rates have gone up at least 200% in the past few weeks in suburban Glencoe, Norridge, Riverside, Robbins, Harvey, Lynwood, and Berkeley.

[BOWLING PINS FALLING]

While the sound of bowling balls striking pins is music to Henry Barber's ears, the possibility of more mitigation is not.

HENRY BARBER: That's alarming. I was hoping that we're on the downhill slide of this. And as more people get vaccinated.

MARK RIVERA: Barber says business was just starting to pick back up at Classic Bowl in Morton Grove. And the patrons are hopeful it can stay that way.

HENRY BARBER: It's been hard to manage, hard to plan for. And we really don't know what to expect for business moving forward.

MARK RIVERA: Many businesses are still limited to a 50 person cap inside, or 50% capacity. Owner of Off the Wall Cafe in suburban Park Ridge, Ryan Tracy, is asking everyone to do their part to keep businesses thriving, especially in Park Ridge, where Cook County data shows cases have jumped 120% in the past few weeks.

RYAN TRACY: It's just kind of rough to see the continued mitigation come directly at our industry.

MARK RIVERA: Now, the Cook County Health Department says that it has not yet reached-- Cook County has not yet reached the state's criteria for adding mitigation just yet. And they're in contact with Chicago's Department of Public Health as well for any restrictions that may be placed in the coming days.