Pritzker: Region 1 moves to Tier 2 COVID-19 mitigations

There will still be no indoor dining service.
Published: Jan. 15, 2021 at 12:43 PM CST
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CHICAGO, Ill. (WIFR) - Gov. Pritzker announced Region 1 is now able to lift Tier 3 mitigations under the state’s guidelines on Friday.

Those regions, which now move to Tier 2, include:

Region 1: Northern Illinois (Jo Davies, Stephenson, Winnebago, Boone, Dekalb, Carrol, Ogle, Whiteside, Lee and Crawford.)

Region 2: North-Central Illinois (Rock Island, Henry, Bureau, Putnam, Kendall, Grundy, Mercer, Knox, Henderson, Warren, McDonough, Fulton, Stark, Marshall, Peoria, Tazwell, McLean, Woodford, Livingston and Lasalle.)

Region 5: Southern Illinois (Marion, Jefferson, Wayne, Edwards, Wabash, Perry, Jackson, Franklin, Williamson, Saline, Hamilton, White, Gallatin, Union, Johnson, Pope, Hardin, Alexander, Massac and Pulaski.)

A full explanation of Tier 2 from Gov. Pritzker’s Office can be found here.

“Of our remaining regions, the data shows that most are on track to leave Tier 3 in the coming days if current trends hold,” Pritzker said Friday.

All of Illinois’ 11 regions had been under Tier 3 mitigations since Nov. 20. As of Thursday, however, no region was meeting the guidelines to bring back indoor dining.

Tier 2 entails:

Bars and restaurants

• All bars and restaurants close at 11 p.m. and may reopen no earlier than 6 a.m. the following day

• No indoor service

• All bar and restaurant 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 outdoors while waiting for a table or exiting

• No dancing or standing indoors

• No tables exceeding six people

• Reservations required for each party

• No seating of multiple parties at one table

• Indoor gaming terminals must suspend operations

• No tables exceeding 6 people

Meetings, social events and gatherings

• Limit to 10 guests in both indoor and outdoor settings

• Applicable to professional, cultural and social group gatherings.

• Not applicable to students participating in-person classroom learning, sports or polling places.

• This does not reduce the overall facility capacity dictated by general business guidance such as office, retail, etc.

• No party buses

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

Organized group recreational activities

• Limit to lesser of 25 guests or 25% of overall room capacity both indoors & outdoors

• Groups limited to 10 or fewer people

• All Sports Guidance effective Aug. 15, 2020, remains in effect

• Outdoor activities (not included in the above exposure settings) continue per current DCEO guidance

The state’s website doesn’t list any changes that a drop from Tier 3 to Tier 2 would have on retail.

It’s also not clear how quickly regions will be able to return to still-lighter restrictions that would permit limited indoor dining.

A region can move to Tier 2 mitigations if it sees a test positivity rate less than 12 percent for three consecutive days and more than 20 percent of ICU and hospital beds are available, as well as declining COVID-19 hospitalizations in seven of the previous 10 days.

Regions with a positivity rate averaging between 6.5 percent and 8 percent, will likely be under Tier 1 guidelines, though the state could still choose to monitor before lifting restrictions further.

To move to Phase 4, however, the positivity rate must average less than or equal to 6.5 percent over a 3-day period.

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