Restaurants and bars in Will and Kankakee counties — Region 7 of the state, as outlined in Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s Restore Illinois Plan — can once again offer indoor dining and service beginning Friday evening.
Pritzker announced the move after weeks of stricter mitigations measures were put in place in the region following three consecutive days of a rolling positivity rate above 8%. According to Pritzker, after close coordination between state and local officials, the region has now seen three straight days with a rolling positivity rate below 6.5%, including Friday’s rate of 5.6%.
“Let that be a testament to the power of a community that embraces doctor-recommended mitigations proven to reduce risk and slow the spread,” the governor said in a statement. “We can’t outrun this virus, but with the tools we know to work – masks, distancing, handwashing, and respect for public health and each other – we can beat it back enough to keep our businesses open and our neighborhoods safer all at once. Don’t let up now, Region 7 – let’s keep this success going.”
The tightened restrictions will be removed at 5 p.m. They took effect Aug. 26 and barred indoor dining and limited gatherings to 25 guests or 25% of overall room capacity.
The IDPH said it will continue working closely with the region to ensure residents keep following the mitigations that remain in place and wear face coverings to help prevent another spike in cases.
Additional mitigation measures will be implemented if any region sees an uptick in its COVID-19 test positivity rate as well as a decrease in hospital capacity or increase in hospital admissions for coronavirus-like illness. The measures will also be implemented if a region’s seven-day rolling positivity rate is above 8% for three consecutive days, as it was in Region 7.
The Metro East region, also known as Region 4, continues to operate under additional mitigation measures, as its seven-day rolling positivity rate remains above 8%.
The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 2,120 new confirmed COVID-19 cases across Illinois Friday and 20 additional deaths. That brings Illinois’ statewide totals to 270,327 cases and 8,411 deaths.