The Illinois Department of Public Health has announced a series of new mitigation efforts and restrictions in southwestern Illinois due to ongoing increases in the coronavirus positivity rate in one of the state’s healthcare regions.
According to Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s press office, the new mitigation efforts will go into effect for Region 4 on Tuesday, Aug. 18.
For the last three days in a row, the region has reported three consecutive days of positivity rates above 8%, automatically triggering new coronavirus restrictions under the state’s regional mitigation plan.
Those new restrictions include the closing of bars, restaurants and casinos in the region by 11 p.m., the closing of all party buses and the reduction of gathering sizes to 25 people or 25 percent of room capacity, whichever is lower.
The new restrictions will remain in effect for 14 days, and if numbers don’t begin to improve, more measures, including the closing of indoor bars and dining, could be implemented.
Region 4 includes Bond, Clinton, Madison, Monroe, Randolph, St. Clair and Washington counties. According to data from the Illinois Department of Public Health, the region has a positivity rate of 8.5% over the last seven days, and has seen admissions increases in hospitals over the last two days.
The region, adjacent to St. Louis, has frequently been mentioned by Pritzker in press conferences as one of the areas of the state where the positivity rate has been climbing in recent weeks.
Increasing positivity rate is one of the numbers that can automatically trigger additional restrictions, along with increasing hospital admissions, ICU availability and medical bed availability.