State capital goes into mitigation, state sees new high of COVID-19 cases

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Graphic from the Office of the Governor

SPRINGFIELD — Region 3, which includes the state capital of Springfield, goes under COVID-19 resurgence mitigations on Sunday, Nov. 1.

Region 3 is in west-central Illinois and covers Hancock, Adams, Pike, Calhoun, Jersey, Greene, Scott, Brown, Schuyler, Cass, Morgan, Macoupin, Montgomery, Christian, Sangamon, Logan, Menard, and Mason counties. Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) made the announcement on Thursday.

That same day, IDPH reported 6,363 new confirmed cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Illinois, including 56 additional deaths. The number of cases breaks the record set just the day before.

“As of this morning, Region 3 – which encompasses Quincy, Springfield and much of West-Central Illinois – has now sustained an average positivity rate of 8 percent or higher for three days, today hitting 8.8 percent – meaning that, starting Sunday, they will join the majority of the state in operating under resurgence mitigations,” said Pritzker. “Something has got to give, and these mitigations aim to cut down on those high-risk activities until we bring down the positivity rate in an area once again. Because let’s be clear: well-meaning and reasonable people can have fair disagreements about how and where to draw lines and connect dots – but when every single metric in every single corner of the state is trending poorly, we have to take meaningful action to keep our people safe.”

“This is the first time a central Illinois region has needed to implement mitigation measures because of increasing positivity,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike.  “For those residents living in regions and communities where the virus didn’t seem to be ‘that bad,’ things are changing with positivity rates steadily increasing. We’ve seen regions move into and then out of mitigation, so we know the measures work. The more people adhere to the measures, the quicker we can move out of mitigation.”

The governor’s office said that Region 3 will get priority consideration for pandemic relief, but it will be joining the other eight of the state’s 11 regions. The office said that $94 million had already been disbursed through the Business Interruption Grants (BIG) program and Local CURE funding.

Region 3 is currently seeing an 8.8 percent positivity rate, an increase from 4.6 percent in September, a summer peak of 6.2 percent in August, and a low of 0.9 percent in June. While most regions are seeing sustained increases in both positivity and hospitalization rates, today Region 3 is experiencing triple the amount of COVID-related hospital admissions since early September.

Mitigation measures taking effect November 1 in Region 3 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 apply to schools or polling places.

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