Enhanced coronavirus restrictions are now in effect in four of Illinois’ 11 health care regions, as state health officials warn others are nearing the threshold.
Additional mitigations take effect in a particular region if the area sees:
- Sustained increase in 7-day rolling average (7 out of 10 days) in the positivity rate and one of the following severity indicators:
- Sustained 7-day increase in hospital admissions for a COVID-19 like illness
- Reduction in hospital capacity threatening surge capabilities (ICU capacity or medical/surgical beds < 20%)
- OR three consecutive days averaging ≥ 8% positivity rate
Some of those mitigation strategies will include restrictions to higher risk settings like indoor bars and restaurants, which could be applied automatically if certain criteria are met, as well as changes in retail, fitness, salon, personal care settings and more.
These are the four regions that are under the enhanced coronavirus mitigation restrictions:
Region 1 (Northwest Illinois)
This region has been under coronavirus restrictions now for a good chunk of October and will see even more enhanced mitigations beginning Sunday.
According to the latest IDPH data, the region’s seven-day positivity rate stands at 11.9% as of Oct. 19, the last date information was available. After 20 days of positive increases, that’s well above the 8% threshold that triggers coronavirus mitigation strategies.
The region will now move to “Tier 2 mitigations,” in which gathering sizes must be limited to 10 people instead of 25 and only six people will be allowed per table at restaurants, a drop from 10, among other changes.
Region 5 (Southern Illinois)
This region saw enhanced coronavirus restrictions go into place on Thursday. Its positivity rate dropped from 9.1% to 8.7% on Oct. 17 but then increased to 9.1% on Oct. 19, the last day for which data was available.
Region 7 (Will, Kankakee Counties)
This region, which has already had to go through restrictions on one occasion this year, had mitigation rules put into place again Friday, with indoor dining and bar service suspended.
The region’s positivity rate is at 9.1% as of Oct. 19, marking the fifth straight day it has been over the 8% threshold and 17th day of increases.
Region 8 (Kane, DuPage Counties)
This region will also see enhanced restrictions go into effect on Friday, as the positivity rate has increased to 9.4% as of Oct. 19.
The positivity rate has been on the rise over the last 18 days and hospital admissions increasing for 11 days. Indoor restaurant and bar service will be suspended this week.
The threat of tighter restrictions is causing alarm among business owners still trying to get back on their feet from the shutdown in Illinois over the summer. NBC 5’s Chris Hush reports.
These are the four regions that are nearing mitigation thresholds:
Region 3 (Western Illinois)
This region, which includes Springfield, is dangerously close to the 8% threshold that would trigger the enhanced restrictions, currently sitting at 7.4%.
That rate has shot upward in recent days, as it had been sitting at 5% as recently as Oct. 8. The region has seen 17 straight days of positivity rate increases, and could be one of the next regions to trigger restrictions.
Region 4 (Southwestern Illinois)
This region, located next door to St. Louis, has already had enhanced coronavirus restrictions put into place this year, but could be heading back in that direction, as the region’s seven-day positivity rate now sits at 7.8% as of Oct. 19. That marks 16 days of positivity increases
The region’s hospitalization numbers will also merit watching, as 32% of the region’s hospital beds are available in the event of a surge in COVID-19 patients. The state will trigger restrictions if that number dips below 20%.
Region 9 (McHenry, Lake Counties)
This region has seen its positivity rates shoot upward in the last 18 days, rising from 5.7% on Oct. 8 to 7.8% on Oct. 19.
Hospitalization rates are on a very slow ascent in that region, which has 36% of regular hospital beds and 48% of ICU beds available, according to the IDPH.
Region 10 (Cook County outside of Chicago)
This region has one of the lower positivity rates in the state, but is still trending upward, increasing over the past 17 days to go from 5.2% earlier this month to 7.2% as of Oct. 19.
Another statistic to monitor in that region is the hospital availability in the event of a surge in coronavirus cases, as that number sits at 24% as of Oct. 22.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced that four suburban counties will see enhanced coronavirus restrictions go into effect on Friday, as Regions 7 and 8 in the state’s healthcare system have exceeded the 8% positivity rate threshold for three consecutive days.
These are the remaining three health care regions in Illinois:
Region 2 (Northwestern/Central Illinois)
This region’s positivity rate was 7.1% as of Oct. 19 following 12 days of increases.
Region 6: (Central/Eastern Illinois)
This region, which has had numbers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign removed from its metrics, has the best positivity rate in the state, sitting at just 2.6%.
Region 11 (Chicago):
Chicago has also seen its coronavirus positivity rates increase in recent weeks, sitting at 7% as of Oct. 19, according to IDPH.
The surge bed availability in the region is also nearing a level that could trigger mitigations, as it currently sits at 23%, according to the IDPH.
On its own, without triggering restrictions from the state’s plan, the city once again shut down indoor bar service and will force non-essential businesses to limit hours as officials warn a second surge of the coronavirus is underway.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced the new restrictions during a Thursday briefing, suspending indoor bar service just weeks after reopening such establishments as colder weather begins to limit outdoor options.
The restrictions will also force non-essential businesses to close their doors by 10 p.m.
The newest restrictions, which take effect at 6 a.m. Friday and continue for at least two weeks, include:
- Business curfew on non-essential businesses beginning at 10 p.m.
- In effect nightly from 10 p.m. -6 a.m.
- Last call for serving liquor at 9 p.m.
- Take-out and curb-side pick-up at restaurants still permitted
- Bars, breweries, and tavernswithout a food license are prohibited from operating any indoor service
- Increasedemphasisof current guidelines
- Max. 6 people in your personal bubble(e.g., no household gatherings >6 people of non-household members)
- Face coveringsin all indoor and outdoor public settings