Illinois will move to Tier 3 Mitigations beginning Friday as confirmed cases of COVID continue to rapidly increase statewide.
Governor J.B. Pritker announced the shift to Tier 3 this afternoon during his daily COVID update. The mitigations call for more restrictions on gatherings and asks residents to stay home as much as possible.
“We must once again work together on a statewide basis to bend the curve, so starting Friday all of Illinois is moving to Tier 3 resurgence mitigations. This is not a Stay-at-Home order, but the best way for us to avoid a Stay-at-Home order is to stay home. We are asking you to choose Zoom instead of packing people in a room for Thanksgiving. Make alterations to your routines now, so that we can be together later.
The virus thrives when we gather indoors without masks with people that we don’t normally live with, and you’ll see these Tier 3 mitigations reflect this reality. To slow the spread and until we can begin to bring down the infection rate, you should not attend dinners, events, gatherings, or meetings beyond your own household.”
The Tier 3 mitigations coincides with the Resurgence Mitigation Plan first released in July, aimed at slowing the increasing transmission of the virus and keeping hospitals from becoming further overrun.
Under Tier 3, all bars and restaurants must close at 11:00 pm and cannot reopen until 6:00 am each day. No indoor seating will be allowed and all bar and restaurant patrons should be seated at tables outside no less than six feet apart. All office employees who can work remotely should do so.
Health and fitness centers may continue to operate with 25% capacity and no indoor group classes. Gaming parlors and casinos are to close. Meeting rooms, banquet centers, private party rooms, and country clubs may not hold gatherings and party buses are not allowed to operate. Funerals are limited to 10 family members of the decendents.
Retail stores as well as personal care services such as barber shops and salons can stay open but must operate at no more than 25% capacity and face coverings must be worn at all times. The only exception to the 25% rule under Tier 3 is grocery stores and pharmacies which are allowed to have 50% capacity of patrons allowed inside at any one time.
Pritzker says the new mitigations are temporary and do not a set amount of time like the 30 day executive orders:
“This is a temporary set of rules that are designed by doctors to keep you safe. To be very clear, we are relying on you here. Nobody will go door-to-door to check on you, but we’re asking people to hold themselves and each other accountable.
The more we can avoid gatherings now, especially indoors with the people that we don’t already live with, the more likely we are to be able to celebrate the December holidays with less risk to our loved ones and ourselves. Tier 3 boils down to this: if you don’t need to do it don’t.”
Pritzker says at the current COVID infection rate, hospitals who are already strained with increasing numbers of patients and positive cases will quickly become overwhelmed.
The Tier 3 mitigations do not call for changes in in-person learing at schools, and lays out suggestions for manufacturers to continue operations without closing down.
The announcement came just as the Illinois Department of Public Health announced an additional 12,601 newly confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 today, including and additional 97 deaths statewide.
As of last night, there were now 5,887 Illinoisans reported to be hospitalized with COVID-19 and of those, 1,158 were in the ICU and 545 are on ventilators.
The seven day statewide positivity rate is not 12.5%