Two more regions to go under COVID-19 restrictions

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Illinois State Capitol in Springfield. (Photo via Good Free Photos)

SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) announced Monday that COVID-19 resurgence mitigations will be implemented in Regions 4 and 10 on Wednesday, Oct. 28.

The regions cover the MetroEast area and Cook County outside of Chicago.

IDPH said that Region 4 has had a 7-day rolling average test positivity rate of 8 percent or above for three consecutive days. Region 10 has had eight consecutive days of increases in test positivity and seven days of increased hospital admissions making it the first region in the state to meet the metrics for additional mitigations in this way and surpass warning levels in two categories simultaneously.

“Over the weekend, two more regions – Region 4, Metro East, as well as Region 10, Suburban Cook County – triggered our metrics for additional mitigations, meaning that, starting Wednesday, 6 of our 11 regions will be operating under our resurgence framework,” said Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker. “Much like the four areas already operating under Tier One or Tier Two of the plan – Northwestern Illinois, Southern Illinois, and Will, Kankakee, DuPage and Kane Counties – Region 4 triggered our 8 percent positivity average threshold, the second time it has done so since mid-summer. Region 10, on the other hand, is the first region in Illinois to earn additional mitigations not because of its positivity rate alone, but because its positivity rate and its COVID-related hospitalizations have both seen a sustained increase over the last 10 days.”

“We are seeing test positivity across the state increase, but for Region 10, Suburban Cook County, we are also seeing a steady increase in hospitalizations for COVID-like illness,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike.  “At the beginning of the pandemic, we were concerned about overwhelming our hospitals and we must take action now to prevent that possibility.  We are entering flu season and our hospitals are facing both COVID-19 and flu admissions.  The same things that can help prevent the spread of COVID-19 will help prevent the spread of flu.  Please, wash your hands, watch your distance, and wear your mask.  And make sure to get your flu shot.”

Last week, Region 5 (southern Illinois), Region 7 (Will and Kankakee counties) and Region 8 (Kane and DuPage counties) were put under restrictions. Region 1 (northwestern Illinois) has been under the measures since the beginning of October. Six of the state’s 11 regions will be under restrictions by the end of this week.

Mitigation measures taking effect October 28 in Regions 4 and 10 include:

Bars

  • No indoor service
  • All outside bar service closes at 11:00 p.m.
  • All bar patrons should be seated at tables outside
  • No ordering, seating, or congregating at bar (bar stools should be removed) 
  • Tables should be 6 feet apart 
  • No standing or congregating indoors or outdoors while waiting for a table or exiting
  • No dancing or standing indoors
  • Reservations required for each party
  • No seating of multiple parties at one table

Restaurants

  • No indoor dining or bar service
  • All outdoor dining closes at 11:00 p.m.
  • Outside dining tables should be 6 feet apart
  • No standing or congregating indoors or outdoors while waiting for a table or exiting
  • Reservations required for each party 
  • No seating of multiple parties at one table

Meetings, Social Events, Gatherings

  • Limit to lesser of 25 guests or 25 percent of overall room capacity
  • No party buses
  • Gaming and Casinos close at 11:00 p.m., are limited to 25 percent capacity, and follow mitigations for bars and restaurants, if applicable

These mitigations do not currently apply to schools.

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