File Photo | Highland Park.

The mayor of Highland Park has issued an emergency order banning groups of more than 10 people and has ordered all indoor workout facilities and the city’s library to close as COVID-19 cases continue to increase.

The order is effective Tuesday, November 17 at 11:59 p.m., and will remain in effect for the next 30 days.

All indoor workout facilities, including fitness, exercise, and dance facilities and studios will be required to close after Highland Park recorded 116 new COVID-19 cases over the weekend, according to Highland Park Communications Manager Amanda Civitello.

According to the Infectious Diseases Society of America, gyms rank high among locations where the coronavirus is most likely to spread outside of the home, Civitello said.

The Highland Park Public Library will also be closing but will continue to offer services digitally and through a grab and go system.

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In Region 9, which represents Lake and McHenry counties, the test positivity seven-day rolling average was 17.1% as of November 13.

“The City strongly urges all residents to follow the guidance of the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and to stay home as much as possible for the next 30 days,” officials said in a statement.

The city asked its resident to follow the following guidance:

  • Stay home. Avoid non-essential activities and limit public activities to necessities such as medical care, work or grocery shopping.
  • Avoid gatherings. Do not attend or host in-person gatherings with people from another household, including playdates, parties, business or personal meetings, and holiday dinners. The City urges individuals to cancel or postpone plans for in-person Thanksgiving dinners in favor of virtual celebrations.
  • Avoid traveling. The Lake County Health Department discourages all non-essential travel. Individuals returning home to Highland Park are urged to self-quarantine for fourteen days following their return home, particularly if returning from a state experiencing widespread community transmission.
  • Wear a mask, watch your distance, and wash your hands. When you must leave home, be sure to follow the “3W’s.”
  • Get a flu shot. CDC guidance indicates that a flu shot is more important than ever, as influenza is also a respiratory illness.
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“We must act now to save lives. While everyone is tired of the restrictions and sacrifices, we are reaching a dangerous level of infection. For the next thirty days, let’s work together to reduce contact and flatten the curve,” said Mayor Nancy Rotering.

“It is critical that everyone recognize the increased burdens being placed on all of us by those choosing to gather with people from other households, whether in public spaces or in private homes. We know this is not easy for recreational businesses and hope that we will collectively work to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and get them back open swiftly,” Rotering said.