Rockford, Illinois News

State announces additional COVID-19 restrictions for Regions 5, 7, and 8

SPRINGFIELD — Gov. J.B. Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Public Health announced additional COVID-19 mitigation efforts Region 5 (Southern Illinois), Region 7 (Will and Kankakee counties), and Region 8 (Kane and DuPage counties) Monday.

Restrictions will begin at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 11. Pritzker said the regions are seeing a test positivity rate that remains above 8% and continued to rise after more than 14-days under Tier 1 mitigations, exceeding the threshold set for establishing additional mitigation measures under the state’s Restore Illinois Resurgence Plan.

Region 5 has been under Tier 1 since Oct. 22, and Regions 7 and 8 since Oct. 23, after seeing a seven-day rolling average test positivity rate of 8% or above for three consecutive days.

Beginning November 11, Regions 5, 7, and 8 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.

“The situation has worsened considerably in certain areas of the state, with massive increases in the rates of community transmission specifically in three regions,” Pritzker said. “As a result, Regions 5, 7 and 8 – that’s Southern Illinois, and Chicago’s South and western suburbs – will join Region 1, northwestern Illinois, in Tier 2 of our resurgence mitigations starting Wednesday,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “Mitigations are only effective if they are followed. The end goal of mitigating the damage the virus is doing to people’s lives is this: keep as much of our economy and our schools as open as possible in a safe manner, and when risk rates in the community surge up, take meaningful action to bring things back down in order to protect ourselves and the people we love.”

IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said: “We continue to see COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths increase. Science tells us that when you are in close contact with someone, there is an increased risk for virus transmission. We must reduce the opportunities for the virus to spread. Only when the virus can no longer sustainably spread can we end this pandemic. It will take all of us working together, so please, be part of the solution and not the problem and help us reduce the risk of spread.”

Following are Regions 5, 7, and 8’s new restrictions.

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% of overall room capacity both indoors and outdoors
Groups limited to 10 or fewer individuals.
Does not apply to fitness centers.

Restrictions do not not apply to schools.

As of Monday, Region 5 is seeing an average positivity rate of 11.5%, 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%, with nearly one in seven tests in these regions coming back positive.

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