illinois coronavirus

Illinois Region Becomes First to Return to Tier 1, Resume Indoor Dining

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The Illinois Department of Public Health announced Saturday that Region 5 has met the requirements to enter Tier 1 coronavirus mitigations, meaning indoor dining can resume.

Region 5, which sits in southern Illinois, can enter Tier 1 mitigations immediately, including bringing back indoor dining and bar service. The region includes the following counties: Marion, Jefferson, Wayne, Edwards, Wabash, Perry, Jackson, Franklin, Williamson, Saline, Hamilton, White, Gallatin, Union, Johnson, Pope, Hardin, Alexander, Massac and Pulaski.

At Tier 1, the region will be able to open indoor dining for 25 people or at 25% capacity per room, whichever is lower, with only four people allowed per table.

Here's a breakdown of what changes in Tier 1:

  • Indoor service limited to lesser of 25% or 25 people per room 
  • Establishment must serve food for indoor service 
  • Reservations required and limited to 2 hours 
  • No tables exceeding 4 people indoors 
  • Bars and restaurants close at 11 p.m. and may reopen no earlier than 6 a.m. the following day 
  • Social gatherings can be limited to 25 guests or 25% capacity both indoors and outdoors

"And of course, any regions that have improved enough to move into Phase
4, can resume some greater indoor operations at bars and restaurants as
long as tables are kept six feet apart, just like last summer," Pritzker said.

As of Friday, two other Illinois regions were allowed to go back to Tier 2 mitigations, with several other regions close to doing the same.

The move to Tier 2 will mean the return of group fitness classes and the reopening of cultural institutions like museums, with a 25% capacity limit, among other things.

Regions moving out of Tier 3 mitigations can also resume youth and recreational sports.

"Greater levels of play will be permitted as metrics improve into the subsequent tier," according to Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker's office.

All of Illinois' 11 regions have been under Tier 3 mitigations since Nov. 20, suspending indoor dining across the state and closing down museums and casinos.

Under the state's guidelines, a region can move to Tier 2 mitigations if it sees a test positivity rate less than 12% for three consecutive days and more than 20% of ICU and hospital beds are available, as well as declining COVID-19 hospitalizations in seven of the previous 10 days.

To move to Tier 1, regions need:

  1. A test positivity rate below 8 percent for three consecutive days, as measured by the 7-day rolling average; AND  
  2. Greater than or equal to 20 percent available staffed ICU and medical/surgical hospital beds for three consecutive days, on a 3-day rolling average; AND  
  3. No sustained increase in the number of people in the hospital with COVID-19 for seven out of 10 days, on a 7-day average.

To move back to Phase 4, however, regions need:

  1. A test positivity rate less than or equal to 6.5 percent for three consecutive days, as measured by the 7-day rolling average; AND  
  2. Greater than or equal to 20 percent available staffed ICU and medical/surgical hospital beds for three consecutive days, on a 3-day rolling average; AND
  3. No sustained increase in the number of people in the hospital with COVID-19 for seven out of 10 days, on a 7-day average.
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