coronavirus illinois

These Illinois Regions Could See Additional COVID-19 Restrictions Due to Rising Positivity Rates

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As enhanced coronavirus restrictions go into effect in four different healthcare regions in Illinois, there are still more regions where additional mitigations could soon be implemented.

As of Tuesday, there are four more regions in the state that are currently seeing increasing positivity rates that have exceeded 7%. If those regions exceed an 8% positivity rate for three consecutive days, then they too would have additional COVID-19 mitigation strategies put into place.

If any region hits that rate, then indoor dining and bar service would be suspended, and gatherings would be restricted to 25 or fewer people.

To break things down, here are the regions that are nearing mitigation thresholds:

Region 3 (Western Illinois)

This region, which includes Springfield, is dangerously close to the 8% threshold that would trigger the enhanced restrictions, currently sitting at 7.5%.

That rate has shot upward in recent days, as it had been sitting at 5% as recently as Oct. 8. The region has seen 10 straight days of positivity rate increases, and could be one of the next regions to trigger restrictions.

Region 4 (Southwestern Illinois)

This region, located next door to St. Louis, has already had enhanced coronavirus restrictions put into place this year, but could be heading back in that direction, as the region’s seven-day positivity rate now sits at 7.4%.

The region’s hospitalization numbers will also merit watching, as 27% of the region’s hospital beds are available in the event of a surge in COVID-19 patients. The state will trigger restrictions if that number dips below 20%.

Region 9 (McHenry, Lake Counties)

This region has seen its positivity rates shoot upward in recent days, rising from 5.7% on Oct. 8 to 7.5% on Oct. 17.

Hospitalization rates are on a very slow ascent in that region, but the region still has plenty of availability of both regular hospital beds and ICU beds, according to the IDPH.

Region 10 (Cook County outside of Chicago)

This region has one of the lower positivity rates in the state, but is still trending upward, going from 5.2% earlier this month to 7.1% as of Oct. 17.

Another statistic to monitor in that region is the hospital availability in the event of a surge in coronavirus cases, as that number sits at 28% as of Oct. 20.

The threat of tighter restrictions is causing alarm among business owners still trying to get back on their feet from the shutdown in Illinois over the summer. NBC 5's Chris Hush reports.

Here are the regions that are either already under the enhanced coronavirus mitigation restrictions, or are scheduled to have those rules put into place:

Region 1 (Northwest Illinois)

This region has been under coronavirus restrictions now for a good chunk of October, and doesn’t appear that it will be taken off the list any time soon.

According to the latest IDPH data, the region’s seven-day positivity rate stands at 11.8%, well above the 8% threshold that triggers coronavirus mitigation strategies.

Region 5 (Southern Illinois)

This region will see enhanced coronavirus restrictions go into place on Thursday, but it has also seen a good trend in the positivity rate in the last two days, as it has dropped from 9.1% to 8.7%.

If those numbers continue to trend downward, then the region may only have to deal with the enhanced coronavirus mitigation procedures for the minimum two weeks.

Region 7 (Will, Kankakee Counties)

This region, which has already had to go through restrictions on one occasion this year, will soon see those mitigation rules put into place again, as indoor dining and bar service will be suspended on Friday.

The region’s positivity rate is at 8.6% as of Oct. 7, marking the third straight day it has been over the 8% threshold. The region is also seeing a steady increase in hospital admissions, with 29% surge availability as of Oct. 20 and a 25% availability of ICU beds.

If either of those numbers were to drop below 20%, it would also trigger additional mitigations.

Region 8 (Kane, DuPage Counties)

This region will also see enhanced restrictions go into effect on Friday, as the positivity rate has increased to 9% as of Oct. 17.

Hospitalizations are not quite cause for concern in that region, but the positivity rate has been on the rise over the last 10 days, meaning that indoor restaurant and bar service will be suspended this week.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced that four suburban counties will see enhanced coronavirus restrictions go into effect on Friday, as Regions 7 and 8 in the state’s healthcare system have exceeded the 8% positivity rate threshold for three consecutive days.

Here are the rest of Illinois’ healthcare regions:

Region 2 (Northwestern/Central Illinois)

While this region has seen some serious increases in positivity rates, it has seen those rates flatten out in recent days, currently sitting at 6.9% as of Oct. 17.

Region 6: (Central/Eastern Illinois)

This region, which has had numbers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign removed from its metrics, has the best positivity rate in the state, sitting at just 2.6%.

Region 11 (Chicago):

Chicago has also seen its coronavirus positivity rates increase in recent weeks, but still remains within the guidelines to permit indoor dining, as the rate is at 6.7% as of Oct. 17.

The surge bed availability in the region is also nearing a level that could trigger mitigations, as it currently sits at 25%, according to the IDPH.

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