Entire WLDS/WEAI Listening Area Moves to Tier 1 COVID-19 Mitigations by IDPH

By Benjamin Cox on October 29, 2020 at 1:07pm

The Illinois Department of Public Health has announced that Tier 1 mitigations will be put in place on Sunday, November 1st in Region 3. Region 3 covers the entire WLDS/WEAI listening area.

The region has seen a 7-day rolling average test positivity rate of 8% or above for three consecutive days, which exceeds the thresholds set for establishing mitigation measures under the state’s Restore Illinois Resurgence Plan. Region 3 includes Hancock, Adams, Pike, Calhoun, Jersey, Greene, Scott, Brown, Schuyler, Cass, Morgan, Macoupin, Montgomery, Christian, Sangamon, Logan, Menard, and Mason counties.

Region 3 hit 8.8% positivity today triggering the mitigations. The increase is noteworthy from the 4.6% positivity in September, a summer peak of 6.2% in August, and a low of 0.9% in June. While most regions are seeing sustained increases in both positivity and hospitalization rates, today Region 3 is experiencing triple the amount of COVID-related hospital admissions since early September, according to IDPH’s region metrics.

IDPH Director Ngozi Ezike noted that it is the first time that a Central Illinois region has needed to implement mitigation measures.

Bars and restaurants will have to cease indoor service. All outdoor services will cease at 11PM each day. Reservations will be required for even outdoor dining and no seating will happen for multiple parties at the same table. No party buses will be able to run. Gaming parlors and casinos will cease operations at 11PM each day and are limited to 25% capacity. Social events and gatherings will be limited to 25 people or 25% of overall room capacity.

The mitigations do not apply to schools or polling places. If the positivity rate averages less than or equal to 6.5% for three consecutive days, then the regions will return to Phase 4 mitigations under the Restore Illinois Plan. A total of 9 of the state’s 11 regions have triggered one of the state’s extra mitigation restrictions.