COVID Mitigations Relaxed, Still No Indoor Dining

By Jeremy Coumbes on January 15, 2021 at 3:48pm

Three of the state’s 11 designated regions are now able to lift a few COVID-19 mitigations, but no indoor dining is allowed yet.

Governor J.B. Pritzker announced today during a virtual COVID-19 update, certain areas of the state can begin to relax COVID mitigation restrictions. He says due to declining numbers, Regions 1, 2, and 5 are dropping from Tier 3 mitigations, the strictest COVID rules, to Tier 2.

Some examples of loosened mitigations in Tier 2 include the return of group fitness classes, the return of lower risk youth and recreational sports, and the reopening of cultural institutions like museums at 25% capacity.”

The Regions moving back to Tier 2 include counties in Northern, North-Central and Southern Illinois. Pritzker says most of the state’s other Regions are on track to move to Tier 2 in the coming days.

Region 3 which encompasses all of the WLDS WEAI listening area, remains under Tier 3 mitigations.

Currently Region 3, has recorded 11 consecutive days under the 12% positivity threshold, currently sitting at 6.5%, and had 8 consecutive days over the 20% threshold for ICU bed availability.

However the availability of medical and surgical beds dipped under the 20% threshold, three day rolling average, keeping our area in a higher level of risk according to IDPH guidelines.

Even those Regions moving to Tier 2 will still not be able to open bars and restaurants to indoor dining however. Previously a Region would need to move out of the Tier mitigation system all together to resume indoor service.

Pritzker said today, due to improving numbers, the mitigation system has been adjusted, with bars and restaurants able to open up for indoor service with limited capacity, once they reach Tier 1.

The trajectory of data in each Region has given Dr. Ezike and IDPH some confidence that a careful and limited reopening of bars and restaurants in Regions that have attained Tier 1 will not lead to a resurgence. So they have altered Tier 1 to allow inddor service in the hospitality industry.

627B (:21) Pritzker 2

A Region moving to Tier 1 would see the cap loosened to allow up to 25 people in gatherings. Bars and restaurants allowed in Tier 1 to reopen to indoor service could have a max of 25 people or 25% capacity per room and no more than four people at each table.