Illinois will reinstitute tighter public health restrictions that go into effect tomorrow (Wednesday, Oct. 28) to help mitigate the COVID-19 resurgence in his state, including Region 4, the Metro East.
“Over the weekend, two more regions - Region 4, Metro East, as well as Region 10, Suburban Cook County - triggered our metrics for additional mitigations, meaning that, starting Wednesday, 6 of our 11 regions will be operating under our resurgence framework,” Illinois Governor J. B. Pritzker said. “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.
Mitigation measures taking effect October 28 in Region 4 (Bond Clinton, Madison, Monroe, St. Clair, Randolph and Washington counties in St. Louis Metro East in Illinois) and Region 10 (suburban Chicago area) affect bars, restaurants and gatherings.
For bars, it means no indoor service; outside bar service ends at 11 p.m.;
all bar customers should be seated at outside tables; 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 are required for each party; and no seating of multiple parties at one table.
For restaurants, coronavirus mitigations include no indoor dining or bar service; 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 are required for each party; and no seating of multiple parties at one table.
Meetings, social events and gatherings are also affected by the mitigation. They are limited to the lesser of 25 guests or 25 percent of overall room capacity; no party buses; gaming and casinos must close at 11 p.m. and are
limited to 25 percent capacity, and follow mitigations for bars and restaurants, if applicable.
These mitigations do not currently apply to Illinois schools.
Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said “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.” She said the state must take action to prevent overwhelming its hospitals. “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."