closed

Gov. Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Public Health are announcing COVID-19 resurgence mitigations will be implemented in Regions 4 and 10, which encompass Metro East and Suburban Cook County respectively, beginning at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday. 

Region 4 has had a 7-day rolling average test positivity rate of 8 percent or above for three consecutive days. The sustained increases seen in the regions exceed the thresholds set for establishing mitigation measures under the state’s Restore Illinois Resurgence Plan.

The administration continues to support small businesses impacted by the ongoing pandemic, distributing $7.5 million and $14.8 million respectively in emergency grants and assistance to businesses and communities in Regions 4 and 10 alone. Businesses in the regions will also receive priority consideration for the current round of Business Interruption Grants as a result of the additional mitigations. 

“At the beginning of the pandemic, we were concerned about overwhelming our hospitals and we must take action now to prevent that possibility," IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said. "We are entering flu season and our hospitals are facing both COVID-19 and flu admissions.  The same things that can help prevent the spread of COVID-19 will help prevent the spread of flu. Please, wash your hands, watch your distance, and wear your mask. And make sure to get your flu shot.”

Mitigation measures taking effect Oct. 28 include:  

Bars 

  • No indoor service 
  • All outside bar service closes at 11 p.m. 
  • All bar patrons should be seated at tables outside 
  • No ordering, seating, or congregating at bar (bar stools should be removed)  
  • Tables should be 6 feet apart  
  • No standing or congregating indoors or outdoors while waiting for a table or exiting 
  • No dancing or standing indoors 
  • Reservations required for each party 
  • No seating of multiple parties at one table 

Restaurants 

  • No indoor dining or bar service 
  • All outdoor dining closes at 11 p.m. 
  • Outside dining tables should be 6 feet apart 
  • No standing or congregating indoors or outdoors while waiting for a table or exiting 
  • Reservations required for each party  
  • No seating of multiple parties at one table 

Meetings, social events, gatherings 

  • Limit to lesser of 25 guests or 25 percent of overall room capacity 
  • No party buses 
  • Gaming and casinos close at 11 p.m., are limited to 25 percent capacity, and follow mitigations for bars and restaurants, if applicable 

These mitigations do not apply to schools.

Support for small businesses has been one of the central features of the Pritzker administration’s COVID-19 response. Since March, the administration has launched a menu of small business and community relief programs, with $500 million in grants and programs launched by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, including emergency hospitality grants, a downstate small business stabilization program, Fast Track Capital, and more. 

DCEO is also actively processing reimbursements for local governments impacted by COVID-19 via the state’s local CURES program. All eligible governments in Regions 4 and 10 can submit their certification to the department and begin submitting reimbursement requests. For more information on programs available for businesses and communities, visit DCEO’s website

In the coming days, IDPH will continue to track the positivity rate in both regions to determine if mitigations can be relaxed, if additional mitigations are required, or if current mitigations should remain in place. If the positivity rate in Region 4 averages less than or equal to 6.5 percent for three consecutive days, then the region will return to Phase 4 mitigations under the Restore Illinois Plan. If the positivity rate averages between 6.5 percent and 8 percent, the new mitigations will remain in place and unchanged. If the positivity rate averages greater than or equal to 8 percent after 14 days, more stringent mitigations can be applied to further reduce spread of the virus.  

As part of the administration’s robust response to the pandemic, the state continues to strengthen its nation-leading testing operation. Illinois is averaging more than three times the testing than the average state. Testing is readily available throughout the state, and the vast majority of test results are returned within an actionable period. Moving forward, testing remains a critical step to reduce the spread of the virus, given that a positive test result begins the contact tracing process and can prevent further spread in communities.

In addition to testing, IDPH continues to monitor each region in the state for several key indicators to identify early, but significant increases of COVID-19 transmission in Illinois, potentially signifying resurgence. Indicators include an increase in the region’s positivity rate with a simultaneous increase in either hospital admissions for COVID-like-illness or a decrease in hospital capacity, or three consecutive days of greater than or equal to 8 percent test positivity rate (7-day rolling average). These indicators can be used to determine whether additional community mitigation interventions are needed for a region to prevent the further spread of COVID-19. 

A full list of mitigation measures pertaining to some businesses and industries may be found on the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity website at www.dceocovid19resources.com/restore-illinois.  

Load comments