Stricter COVID-19 mitigations now in effect for southern Illinois, Regions 7 and 8

Stricter COVID-19 mitigations now in effect for southern Illinois, Regions 7 and 8
Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Public Health announced additional COVID-19 mitigations in southern Illinois and two other regions, which begin on Nov. 11. (Source: KFVS)

SOUTHERN Ill. (KFVS) - Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Public Health announced additional COVID-19 mitigations in southern Illinois and two other regions.

The additional mitigations in Region 5 (southern Illinois), Region 7 (Will and Kankakee Counties) and Region 8 (Kane and DuPage Counties) start at 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, November 11.

State leaders said these regions are seeing a test positivity rate that remains above 8 percent and continues to rise after more than 14 days under Tier 1 mitigations, which exceeds the threshold set under the Restore Illinois Resurgence Plan.

Southern Illinois has been under Tier 1 since October 22 and Regions 7 and 8 since October 23. Now, they will face additional mitigations, such as a tighter gathering cap of 10 individuals rather than 25 and new table caps of six rather than 10 when eating out.

For Regions 5, 7, and 8, additional mitigation measures taking effect November 11 include the following:

Bars and Restaurants

  • Reduce party size from 10 to six individuals

Meetings, Social Events and Gatherings

  • Maximum indoor/outdoor gathering size of 10 individuals
  • Applicable to professional, cultural and social group gatherings
  • This does not reduce the overall facility capacity dictated by general business guidance, such as office, retail, etc.
  • Not applicable to students participating in-person classroom learning
  • Not applicable to sports, see sports guidance

Organized Group Recreational Activities

  • Limit to lesser of 25 guests or 25 percent of overall room capacity both indoors and outdoors
  • Groups limited to 10 individuals or fewer
  • Does not apply to fitness centers

These mitigations do not apply to schools.

From the onset of the pandemic, the Illinois Department for Economic Opportunity has launched a variety of small business and community relief programs. The administration continues to work aggressively to support small businesses impacted by the ongoing pandemic, distributing nearly $100 million to Regions 5, 7, and 8 thus far, including business grants and community funding. These programs are guided by an equity framework and seek to address the hardest hit communities with emergency relief dollars. For more information on programs available for businesses and communities, please visit DCEO’s website.

As of Monday, Region 5 is seeing an average positivity rate of 11.5 percent, with more than twice as many COVID-19 patients entering a hospital each day compared to the summer peak in late August. Regions 7 and 8 each have positivity rates of 13 percent, with nearly one in seven tests in these regions coming back positive.

In the coming days, IDPH will continue to track the positivity rate in Regions 5, 7, and 8 to determine if mitigations can be relaxed, if additional mitigations are required, or if current mitigation should remain in place. IDPH has been working closely with local health departments in the three regions to provide education to the public and offer information to businesses and organizations on safe ways to reopen.

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