Health officials in Illinois announced Tuesday that enhanced coronavirus mitigation rules will be put into place in Region 1 beginning on Saturday.
According to a press release from Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s office, the new mitigation rules will be put into place after the region, located in northwest Illinois, saw its seven-day rolling positivity rate exceed 8% for more than three consecutive days.
Region 1 includes Boone, Carroll, DeKalb, Jo Daviess, Lee, Ogle, Stephenson, Whiteside and Winnebago counties.
“The concerning uptick in Region 1’s positivity rate – jumping more than two percentage points in two weeks even as the majority of Illinois continues to see downward trends – demands increased efforts to stop the spread in our northwestern counties,” Pritzker said in a statement.
Region 1 has also reported some increased hospital admission for illnesses directly related to COVID-19, as well as illnesses that could potentially be linked to the virus.
As part of the new enhanced mitigation strategies, indoor service at bars and restaurants must be suspended on Saturday. All outside bar service can continue, but service will be required to close at 11 p.m. Reservations will be required for parties looking to visit bars and restaurants.
Social events will also be limited to 25 or fewer guests, or 25% of overall room capacity. Party buses are also banned under provisions of the rules.
In order to move back to Phase 4 restrictions, the region will be required to average a positivity rate of 6.5% or less for three straight days.
The state has seen success in using the enhanced restrictions to put the clamps on increasing positivity rates, as Region 7, home to Will and Kankakee counties, saw mitigations put in place, which stemmed the increase in positivity rates and allowed those counties to reopen bars and restaurants to indoor seating.
The mitigations have not fully worked in Region 4, located in southwestern Illinois near St. Louis. That region has been doing better of late, but positivity rates are beginning to trend upward again, indicating that additional restrictions may be needed.