The Will County Health Department (WCHD) is recommending that event organizers postpone, cancel, or if feasible, offer virtual participation for community events expected to have over 250 participants until further notice. This is based on the increasing number of confirmed cases of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in the Chicago and collar county regions, and the expectation of ongoing transmission of the disease in our communities. This recommendation follows the announcement made by Governor Pritzker on Friday, March 13, 2020 regarding the ban of events of over 1,000 people throughout the State of Illinois over the next 30 days.
This recommendation is also based upon guidance for community mitigation activities from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to help slow transmission of COVID-19 in communities. Community mitigation, a set of actions that persons and communities can take to help slow the spread of respiratory virus infections, is of utmost importance because there is currently no vaccine or treatment for Coronavirus available at this time.
Based upon mitigation strategies outlined by the CDC, WCHD recommend the following actions at this time to reduce the spread of illness in Will County. These recommendations may be scaled up or down depending on the evolving local situation:
- Cancellation of community events with more than 250 participants expected.
- Consideration to offer video and/or audio of events as appropriate or practical.
- Consideration to move events to smaller groupings of participants.
- Cancellation of gatherings of more than ten people for organizations that serve high-risk populations. High-risk populations include individuals at increased risk for severe illness, including older adults and persons of any age with underlying health conditions.
The Will County Health Department reminds you that if you do continue to hold large gatherings, you are putting people at risk of contracting the virus.
More information on the recommended strategies to minimize the spread of COVID-19 in the community can be found at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/community-mitigation-strategy.pdf. If you have specific questions about your event, please contact the Will County Health Department at 815 727-8480, or visit www.willcountyhealth.org for additional information.