A series of new mitigation efforts and restrictions took effect Tuesday in southern Illinois due to ongoing increases in the coronavirus positivity rate in the state’s healthcare regions, the Illinois Department of Public Health announced.
According to Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s office, the new mitigation efforts are now in effect for Region 4, which includes Bond, Clinton, Madison, Monroe, Randolph, St. Clair and Washington counties.
Those new restrictions include:
- The closing of bars, restaurants and casinos in the region by 11 p.m.
- The closing of all party buses
- 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.
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.
For the three days before the changes were announced on Sunday, the region reported consecutive days of positivity rates above 8%, automatically warranting the new restrictions under the state’s regional mitigation plan announced last month
According to data from the Illinois Department of Public Health, Region 4 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.