CHICAGO (CBS) — Several regions of Illinois had COVID-19 restrictions rolled back to some degree on Monday, with three more parts of the state allowed to resume limited indoor dining, although the Chicago area must continue to wait for restaurants and bars to resume serving customers indoors.
The Illinois Department of Public Health said Region 1 (Northern Illinois) and Region 6 (East-Central Illinois), which both had been under Tier 3 of the state’s regional mitigation efforts, now meet the requirements to move to Tier 1, allowing for limited indoor dining and bar service.READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Freezing Overnight
While indoor dining will now resume in those four regions they must close at 11 p.m. each day, and may not reopen until 6 a.m. Tables also must be spaced 6 feet apart, and there’s a limit of four people per table. Bars must serve food in order to offer indoor service.
Region 3, or West-Central Illinois (Hancock, Adams, Pike, Calhoun, Jersey, Greene, Scott, Brown, Schuyler, Cass, Morgan, Macoupin, Montgomery, Christian, Sangamon, Logan, Menard, and Mason counties) also was allowed to resume indoor dining on Monday, after meeting the requirements to shift all the way from Tier 3 mitigations to Phase 4 of Restore Illinois, the state’s economic reopening plan.
Phase 4 allows even more relaxed rules for indoor dining than Tier 1. Although indoor dining and bar service will remain at 25% capacity, up to 10 customers will be allowed per table, although tables must be spaced at least six feet apart.
Region 5, or Southern Illinois (Alexander, Edwards, Franklin, Gallatin, Hamilton, Hardin, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Marion, Massac, Perry, Pope, Pulaski, Saline, Union, Wabash, Wayne, White, and Williamson counties) was the first region in Illinois to reopen indoor dining on Saturday. It also has now moved to Phase 4.
Region 2, or North-Central Illinois (Bureau, Fulton, Grundy, Henderson, Henry, Kendall, Knox, LaSalle, Livingston, Marshall, McDonough, McLean, Mercer, Peoria, Putnam, Rock Island, Stark, Tazewell, Warren, and Woodford counties) was allowed to resume limited indoor dining on Sunday, when it qualified to move to Tier 1 mitigations.
Meantime, the Illinois Department of Public Health announced some restrictions in parts of the Chicago area are being lifting sooner than expected, after changing the statewide requirements to move from Tier 3 to Tier 2 of the state’s virus mitigation plan.READ MORE: Emmett Till's Cousin Reacts To Conviction Of Derek Chauvin And Today's State Of Racial Justice; George Floyd's Brother Said Till Was 'The First George Floyd'
IDPH, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency and the Department of Healthcare and Family Services have launched a surge staffing program to increase hospital staffing at facilities that had available rooms, but not enough personnel to staff all of them.
As a result, the state is no longer requiring regions to have at least 20% of their medical/surgical hospital beds available to move to Tier 2, though they still must have at least 20% of their ICU beds available for at least three days in a row before rolling back Tier 3 restrictions.
With that change, Regions 8 (DuPage and Kane counties), 9 (Lake and McHenry counties), 10 (Cook County suburbs), and 11 (City of Chicago) have been moved from Tier 3 to Tier 2, which will allow for gyms and fitness centers to resume group fitness classes, for the return of lower-risk youth and recreational sports, and for the reopening of museums, theaters, and other cultural institutions at 25% capacity. Casinos also will be allowed to reopen at 25% capacity.
To return to Tier 1 restrictions, which would allow for limited indoor dining, a region must have a 7-day average test positivity rate below 8% for three days in a row, have at least 20% of its intensive care unit beds available for at least three consecutive days, and have no sustained increase in COVID hospitalizations for 7 of the past 10 days.
Region 4 (Metro East) and Region 7 (Will and Kankakee counties) remain under Tier 3 mitigations.
To return to Tier 2 mitigations, those regions must have a 7-day average test positivity rate of less than 12% for at least three days in a row, have more than 20% of their intensive care unit beds available for at least three consecutive days, and have declining numbers of COVID hospitalizations in 7 of the past 10 days.
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