Governor J.B. Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Public Health announced today that Region 4, just to the south of the listening area, would have increased mitigation efforts put in place due to increased cases of COVID-19.
Beginning on Tuesday, the region will have the following rules put in place to follow: bars, casinos, and restaurants will close by 11PM; party buses will be closed; reception halls will be closed, indoor dining tables to 6 persons or less, no dancing indoors, no bar stools to discourage gathering, and gatherings will be limited to 25 or 25% of capacity. The measures will be in place for a 2 week period. If metrics for the region do not improve, according to guidelines release today, indoor bars and dining will be closed. More of the plans can be found here.
Region 4, which covers the Metro East, has seen three consecutive days of a positivity rate of 8% or higher, triggering the mitigation. Pritzker said in a press release today that this should serve as a warning to others in the state: “Region 4 of our statewide 11 reopening regions – the Metro East – has now surpassed an 8 percent seven-day rolling average positivity rate – a trend that I have made clear would trigger stricter mitigations when this plan was announced in July. Working with local officials in the Metro East region and across the border in St. Louis, we are implementing stricter mitigations that account for the unique factors in this region. Dr. [Ngozi] Ezike and I are imploring local leaders and residents alike: if you haven’t been taking this seriously yet, now is the time to start.”
Region 3, which encompasses the entire WLDS/WEAI listening area, has had a rolling positivity rate of 6%-6.1% for the last week.