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COVID-19 Mitigation Efforts Take Effect In Northwestern Illinois

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Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) announced Monday that COVID-19 resurgence mitigations will be implemented in Region 1, which holds the most northwestern counties in the state. The measures will begin on Saturday, Oct. 3, 2020. 

According to a press release, the region is seeing a seven-day rolling average test positivity rate of 8% or above for three consecutive days, which exceeds the threshold set for establishing mitigation measures in the region under the state’s Restore Illinois Resurgence Plan.

Region 1 includes Boone, Carroll, DeKalb, Jo Daviess, Lee, Ogle, Stephenson, Whiteside and Winnebago counties.

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In the past week, Region 1 also had an early indication of increasing hospital admissions for COVID-like illnesses.

Mitigation measures taking effect Oct. 3 in Region 1 include the following:

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 six 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 six 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 and Gatherings

•             Limit to the lesser of 25 guests or 25%  of overall room capacity

•             No party buses

•             Gaming and casinos close at 11:00 p.m., are limited to 25% capacity and, if applicable, follow    mitigations for bars and restaurants

These mitigations do not currently apply to schools.

The release says IDPH will track the positivity rate in Region 1 to determine if mitigations can be relaxed, if additional mitigations are required or if current mitigations should remain in place.

If the positivity rate averages less than or equal to 6.5% for three consecutive days, then Regions 1 will return to Phase 4 mitigations under the Restore Illinois Plan. If the positivity rate averages between 6.5% and 8%, the new mitigations will remain in place and unchanged. If the positivity rate averages greater than or equal to 8% after 14 days, more stringent mitigations can be applied to further reduce spread of the virus.