Rockford, Illinois News

COVID-19 restrictions return to local bars, restaurants

No indoor dining, drinking beginning Oct. 3

SPRINGFIELD — Region 1, the area the comprises Winnebago County and the rest of the state’s northwestern most counties, will be under further COVID-19 restrictions beginning Saturday, Oct. 3.

The region has seen a seven-day rolling average positivity rate of at least 8% for three consecutive days, which exceeds the threshold set for establishing mitigation measures in the region under the state’s Restore Illinois Resurgence Plan.

The announcement follows last week’s warnings to local leaders that additional mitigation measures would be implemented if the region continued to see an increase in cases. Region 1 includes Boone, Carroll, DeKalb, Jo Daviess, Lee, Ogle, Stephenson, Whiteside and Winnebago counties.

“The concerning uptick in Region 1’s positivity – jumping more than two percentage points in two weeks even as the majority of Illinois continues to see downward trends – demands increased efforts to stop the spread in our northwestern counties,” Pritzker said. “As other regions have demonstrated, stricter mitigations will lead to safer communities when people mask up, keep their distance, wash their hands and respect public health. It is my hope that the residents of Region 1 can turn this situation around quickly, and Dr. Ezike and I continue to coordinate with local officials to make that happen.”

Illinois Public Health Director Ngozi Ezike repeated a familiar mantra, one her department has sounded since the pandemic began in March.

“COVID-19 spread can increase very quickly, as we’ve seen in some regions in the state, now including Region 1,” Ezike said. “As the pandemic continues, so must our fight against it: Please, don’t hold or attend large events or mass gatherings, wear your face covering, and keep six feet of distance between you and others.”

In the past week, Region 1 also had an early indication of increasing hospital admissions for COVID-like-illness. Although this increase has not yet reached the threshold level, it indicates more severe illness is increasing and IDPH will continue to monitor the region’s hospital capacity.

New mitigation includes the following:

Bars

  • No indoor service.
  • All outside bar service closes at 11 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 six 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 p.m.
  • Outside dining tables should be six 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% of overall room capacity.
  • No party buses.
  • Gaming and casinos close at 11 p.m. Facilities are limited to 25% capacity and follow mitigations for bars and restaurants, if applicable

These mitigations do not currently apply to schools.

IDPH will track the positivity rate in Region 1 to determine if mitigations can be relaxed, if additional mitigations are required, or if current mitigations should remain in place. If the positivity rate averages less than or equal to 6.5% for three consecutive days, then Regions 1 will return to Phase 4 mitigations under the Restore Illinois Plan. If the positivity rate averages between 6.5% and 8%, the new mitigations will remain in place and unchanged. If the positivity rate averages greater than or equal to 8% after 14 days, more stringent mitigations can be applied to further reduce spread of the virus.

Region 4, the Metro East, remains under additional mitigation measures as well. Although the seve-day rolling average test positivity rate is less than 8%, it remains above 6.5% and has increased in recent days.

IDPH continues to monitor each region in the state for several key indicators to identify early, but significant increases of COVID-19 transmission in Illinois, potentially signifying resurgence.

Indictors include an increase in the region’s positivity rate with a simultaneous increase in either hospital admissions for COVID-like-illness or a decrease in hospital capacity, or three consecutive days of greater than or equal to 8% test positivity rate (seven-day rolling average). These indicators can be used to determine whether additional community mitigation interventions are needed for a region to prevent the further spread of COVID-19.

You might also like