2 More Illinois Regions to See Increased Restrictions As Rising Metrics Trigger Mitigations

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Two Illinois regions will soon be under new coronavirus restrictions as rising metrics triggered the state’s mitigation plan.

Region 10, which holds all but Chicago in Cook County, will see the suspension of indoor dining and bar service, among other limitations, put in place Wednesday as the area becomes the first in Illinois to trigger the state’s mitigation plan in multiple metrics simultaneously.

Region 4, known as the Metro East region, will also see the return of increased restrictions just days after such rules were lifted in the southern Illinois area.

“Region 4 has had a 7-day rolling average test positivity rate of 8 percent or above for three consecutive days. Region 10 has had eight consecutive days of increases in test positivity and seven days of increased hospital admissions making it the first region in the state to meet the metrics for additional mitigations in this way and surpass warning levels in two categories simultaneously,” Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s office said in a release.

Region 4 had been under heightened restrictions for weeks beginning in the summer, but recently saw the mitigations lifted as its positivity rate declined. Now, the area will see such rules put back in place.

The positivity rate in Region 10 has ticked upward from 7.3% on Oct. 20 and to 7.5% on Oct. 21 and 7.7% on Oct. 22, continuing a slow upward trend, data from the state’s health department showed. Hospitalizations are also going up, and the region only had an average of 25% availability on hospital beds in the event of a surge, along with a 30% ICU availability, as of Oct. 22.

““We are seeing test positivity across the state increase, but for Region 10, Suburban Cook County, we are also seeing a steady increase in hospitalizations for COVID-like illness,” Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said in a statement. “At the beginning of the pandemic, we were concerned about overwhelming our hospitals and we must take action now to prevent that possibility. 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.”

Regions 10 and 4 will now join four other healthcare regions in the state with additional coronavirus mitigation restrictions.

Kane, DuPage, Will and Kankakee counties in the Chicago area saw added restrictions put in place beginning Friday. Region 5 in southeastern Illinois began the new measures on Thursday.

Region 1 in northern Illinois also saw a second tier of added restrictions beginning Sunday.

Several other regions in the Chicago area could potentially see additional rules put in place as well as they near the 8% positivity threshold set by the state.

Those regions include Chicago itself and Region 9, which includes McHenry and Lake counties.

“Much like the four areas already operating under Tier One or Tier Two of the plan – Northwestern Illinois, Southern Illinois, and Will, Kankakee, DuPage and Kane Counties – Region 4 triggered our 8 percent positivity average threshold, the second time it has done so since mid-summer,” Pritzker said in a statement. “Region 10, on the other hand, is the first region in Illinois to earn additional mitigations not because of its positivity rate alone, but because its positivity rate and its COVID-related hospitalizations have both seen a sustained increase over the last 10 days.”

Here’s a look at the full list of restrictions being added for Regions 4 and 10:

Bars 

  • No indoor service 
  • All outside bar service closes at 11:00 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 11:00 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 11:00 p.m., are limited to 25 percent capacity, and follow mitigations for bars and restaurants, if applicable 

These mitigations do not currently apply to schools.

The state’s health department said it plans to track the positivity rate in both Region 4 and Region 10 over the coming days “to determine if mitigations can be relaxed, if additional mitigations are required, or if current mitigations should remain in place.”

The positivity rate in Region 4 must average or equal 6.5% for three consecutive days to see its current mitigations lifted and return to Phase 4 of the state’s reopening plan. Region 10 would need to see the same drop in positivity rate, but will also need to record a decrease in hospital admissions for COVID-19 like illness over a three-day period. The three-day rolling averages for ICU bed availability and medical/surgical bed availability will also need to be great than or equal to 20% over a seven-day period.

Feeds,News,Region: Chicago,City: Chicago

via Local – NBC Chicago https://ift.tt/35yI1qT

October 26, 2020 at 10:55AM

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