coronavirus illinois

Will, Kankakee Counties to See New Coronavirus Restrictions as Positivity Rate Rises

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A second Illinois region will have new coronavirus mitigation rules put into effect, as south suburban Kankakee and Will counties continue to see increases in their rolling positivity rates.

Under the new rules, indoor service at both bars and restaurants will be suspended until further notice, according to a press release from the governor's office.

According to Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, Region 7 will have new COVID-19 mitigation efforts implemented on Wednesday after the region saw its rolling positivity rate meet or exceed the 8% threshold for three consecutive days.

According to data provided by the Illinois Department of Health, the two counties, which comprise Region 7 in the state’s coronavirus mitigation strategy, have seen their combined positivity rate on coronavirus testing go up from 6.7% on Aug. 12 to 8.3% on Monday, with eight consecutive days of increases in that number.

Under the IDPH’s “Restore Illinois” plan, any region that has a rolling positivity rate of 8% or higher for three consecutive days would then have coronavirus mitigation measures enacted, and Region 7 is now in that category after remaining at or above 8% since Saturday.

Those new mitigation measures include requiring bars and restaurants to close by 11 p.m., with outdoor service suspended at both bars and restaurants as a result of the new restrictions.

The legally mandated-maximum allowed size of gatherings will also be reduced to 25 people. Party buses will also be banned under the restrictions, according to state health officials.

The measures are expected to remain in place for 14 days, and if the positivity rates don't decrease to below 8% during that time, the restrictions could be left in place, or perhaps even expanded.

Those measures have already been implemented in Region 4, which includes counties adjacent to St. Louis in southwestern Illinois. That region exceeded the 8% threshold on Aug. 12, and the number has continued to rise, topping out at 9.6% over the weekend.

The number did decline slightly on Monday, but still remains at 9.4%, according to figures from IDPH.

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