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Pritzker: Regions 1, 2, and 5 can all move forward to Tier 2; limited indoor dining can return in Tier 1

Regions 1, 2, and 5 can all move forward to Tier 2 starting today in Illinois’ COVID-19 mitigation plan, Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker announced at a news conference Friday, and “limited’ indoor dining can be allowed when a region is able to move to Tier 1.

“My great hope is that all of our regions will move out of the tiers of resurgence mitigations,” Pritzker said.

Region 1 consists of northwestern Illinois including DeKalb, Lee, Ogle and Whiteside counties. Region 2 includes counties such as La Salle, Kendall and Bureau. Region 5 consists of far southern Illinois.

Regions 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11 will remain in Tier 3 mitigations, though several regions are close to advancing.

Any region that advances to Tier 1 can bring back limited indoor dining, Pritzker added. Capacity would be limited to the lesser of 25 people or 25% capacity per room, with tables of no more than four people.

“Bars and restaurants have carried an extremely heavy burden throughout this public health crisis through no fault of their own,” Pritzker said.

In order to move to Tier 1, a region must meet the following metrics:

1) A test positivity rate below 8 percent for three consecutive days, as measured by the seven-day rolling average.

2) Great than or equal to 20 percent available staffed ICU and medical/surgical hospital beds for three consecutive days, on a three-day rolling average, and

3) No sustained increase in the number of people in the hospital with COVID-19 for seven out of 10 days, on a seven-day average.

According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, in order for a region to move back to Tier 2 mitigations, a region must experience the following three metrics: have less than 12% test positivity rate for three consecutive days, have greater than 20% available intensive care unit and hospital bed availability and have declining COVID hospitalizations in seven out of the last 10 days.

Under Tier 2, there still is no indoor service at bars or restaurants, dancing or standing indoors and no meetings, social events and gatherings, including weddings, funerals and potlucks.

Video gaming machines, as well as gambling at casinos, will resume at 8 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 16, in Illinois health regions that make the move forward from Tier 3 on Friday, according to the Illinois Gaming Board.

Organized group recreational activities, including sports but excluding fitness centers, are allowed to reopen but are limited to 25% capacity.

There is a limit to 10 guests in both indoor and outdoor settings.

In addition, IDPH discourages nonessential travel to other states and international locations, groups greater than four individuals in ages 12 to 17 congregating outside of school. Social distancing and the wearing of face masks are encouraged, as well as working from home when possible.

Finally, indoor dining can return in a greater capacity in Phase 4.

In order to move to Phase 4, a region must meet the following metrics:

1. A test positivity rate less than or equal to 6.5 percent for three consecutive days, as measured by the 7-day rolling average; and

2. Greater than or equal to 20 percent available staffed ICU and medical/surgical hospital beds for three consecutive days, on a 3-day rolling average; and

3. No sustained increase in the number of people in the hospital with COVID-19 for seven out of 10 days, on a 7-day average.

Source: The Daily Chronicle

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