coronavirus illinois

2 Suburban Illinois Regions ‘on Track' to Move to Tier 1 COVID-19 Mitigations That Allow Indoor Dining

NBCUniversal Media, LLC

Two of Illinois' 11 regions in the Chicago suburbs are "on track" to move into Tier 1 COVID-19 mitigations on Tuesday, which would allow for the return of limited indoor dining, among other changes, if metrics continue to improve, state health officials announced Monday.

"If all the mitigation metrics continue to improve, regions 8 and 9 will move into Tier 1 on Tuesday," the Illinois Department of Public Health said in a statement.

Region 8 includes west suburban DuPage and Kane counties, while Region 9 is north suburban Lake and McHenry counties.

To move from Tier 2 to Tier 1, a region must meet the following criteria:

  • Test positivity rate below 8% for three consecutive days (7-day average) AND
  • =20% available staffed ICU hospital beds for three consecutive days, on a 7-day rolling average; AND
  • No sustained increase in COVID patients in hospital (7-day average over 7 of 10 days)

Here's a look at the guidelines for Tier 1:

Bars and restaurants

  • Indoor service limited to lesser of 25% or 25 persons per room
  • No tables exceeding 4 people indoors
  • Suspend indoor service if not serving food
  • Outdoor, delivery and takeout service continues under updated hours

Cultural institutions

  • Open under Phase 4 rules

Gaming and casinos

  • Open under Phase 4 rules from Illinois Gaming Board


  • Open under Phase 4 rules

Household gatherings

  • Allowed with public health guidelines

Indoor fitness classes

  • Open under Phase 4 rules

Meetings, events and gatherings (excluding inperson school or sports)

  • Limit to lesser of 25 guests or 25% overall capacity indoors and outdoors


  • Open under Phase 4 rules

Organized group recreational activities (fitness centers, sports, etc.)

  • Recreation, fitness centers and outdoor activities follow Phase 4 guidance
  • Sports follow measures in the All Sport Guidelines

In recent days, all 11 of Illinois' regions have, to varying degrees, continued to lift some of the more stringent COVID-19 mitigations put in place in November amid a second wave of the pandemic.

State officials placed every region into the most strict Tier 3 mitigations in November, suspending indoor dining across Illinois and closing down museums and casinos, among other mitigations which lasted through the holiday season.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced earlier this month that regions could begin to lift those most stringent restrictions on Jan. 15 if they met the criteria. Last week, Illinois officials announced that all 11 regions were out of the most restrictive Tier 3.

As of Monday morning, just three regions - Region 4 in the Metro East area downstate, as well as Regions 8 and 9, now both on track to lift Tier 2 on Tuesday - remained in Tier 2 restrictions which do not allow indoor dining.

“With all regions of Illinois now out of Tier 3, we can now see that the entire state is headed down the right path,” IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said Friday. “During the summer, we were on this same path.  We know that we must continue to take precautions and be smart about how we relax some of the mitigation measures, which are in place to protect our health and safety.”

With each region, the health department plans to "closely monitor test positivity, ICU bed availability, and the number of people in the hospital with COVID-19" and if numbers begin trending in the wrong direction, regions could see increased mitigations return.

For a full breakdown of what's allowed in each tier click here.

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