CHICAGO (CBS) — All but one region of Illinois is now in Phase 4 of the state’s reopening plan, allowing for slightly expanded indoor dining, the opening of some recreation facilities, and higher capacity limits for public gatherings.
The Illinois Department of Public Health said Region 8 (DuPage and Kane counties) and Region 9 (Lake and McHenry counties) were the latest to qualify to move back to Phase 4 on Wednesday. Only Region 4 (the Metro East area near St. Louis) has yet to meet the state’s requirements to allow for indoor dining and drinking at restaurants and bars, and is still in Tier 2 mitigations.READ MORE: Organizer Planning To Go Ahead With Concert In Valparaiso, Indiana This Summer, With Some COVID Precautions
Under Phase 4, bars and restaurants can seat up to 10 people per table indoors, as long as tables are spaced at least six feet apart, and booths that are closer than six feet from each other have impermeable barriers separating them. Standing areas are limited to 25% capacity.
The state’s limits on when bars and restaurants may be open also are lifted in Phase 4, although those businesses are still subject to local rules regarding hours of operation.
In addition, retail stores and personal care services such as barber shops and salons are allowed to operate at 50% of normal capacity.
Indoor recreation facilities such a bowling alleys and skating rinks may reopen at 50% capacity. Museums remain limited to 25% capacity, with guided tours limited to 50 people or fewer per group.
Meetings and other social events are limited to 50 people or 50% of room capacity, whichever is less.READ MORE: 1 Dead, 2 Injured In I-57 Expressway Shooting Near 119th Street
All of Illinois had been under tighter COVID-19 restrictions for months during the fall surge of the pandemic, as IDPH sought to quell the spread of the virus.
The state’s virus infection rate has been falling steadily since its fall peak in mid-November, allowing the state to begin loosening restrictions on a regional basis earlier this month.
Meantime, Illinois has reported 3,314 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 statewide, as well as 69 more deaths. Since the start of the pandemic, IDPH has reported a total of 1,134,231 cases, including 19,375 deaths.
The state’s 7-day average case positivity rate is down to 3.5%, the lowest it’s been since Oct. 7. The state’s average infection rate was more than double that a month ago.
As of Tuesday night, 2,469 virus patients were being treated in Illinois hospitals, including 520 in the ICU and 270 on ventilators. While COVID-19 hospitalizations have gone up slightly the past two days, they’re still well below the fall peak of 6,175 in mid-November.
Illinois also set a new record for COVID-19 vaccinations on Tuesday, with 65,166 doses administered. Illinois has received a total of 2,079,525 doses of the vaccine so far, and has administered 1,094,135 doses. The state is averaging 45,787 doses administered per day over the past week.MORE NEWS: Chicago Weather: Temperatures Climbing; Sunny Skies Ahead
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