The Illinois Department of Public Health announced that Region 7, which includes Will County, will move to Tier 1 mitigations in the Restore Illinois plan.
That means indoor dining will be allowed for up to 25 people or 25% capacity, whichever is reached first, for bars and restaurants. Establishments must close by 11 p.m., require reservations for all guests, and limit guests to groups of four, with set two-hour time limits for dining.
Social gatherings such as weddings, funerals, and potlucks will also be able to be held at 25% capacity in Tier 1. A full list of Tier 1 mitigations is available on the IDPH website.
IDPH Director Ngozi Ezike said in a statement that this is good news, but Illinoisans must continue to take all necessary precautions in preventing the spread of COVID-19.
Changes to Sports
Tier 1 also allows any sport in the low-risk or medium-risk category to begin playing competitive games, while high-risk sports such as basketball and football, may begin practicing in full.
The current list of risk levels from the IDPH for each sport are as follows:
- Lower risk: archery, badminton, baseball, bass fishing, bowling, climbing, competitive cheer, competitive dance, crew, cross country, cycling, disc golf, fencing, gymnastics, horseback riding, ice skating, ropes courses, sailing/canoeing/kayaking, scholastic golf, sideline spirit, skateboarding, softball, skiing, swimming/diving, tennis, track and field, weight lifting.
- Medium risk: flag football/7-on-7 football, futsal, paintball, racquetball, soccer, volleyball, water polo, wheelchair basketball
- Higher risk: basketball, boxing, football, hockey, lacrosse, martial arts, rugby, ultimate frisbee, wrestling.
Region 7 met the criteria to move from Tier 3 straight to Tier 1 by maintaining seven-day rolling averages for positivity rate between 6.5% and 8% for three consecutive days, staffed ICU bed availability above 20% for three consecutive days, and no sustained increase in COVID-positive hospital patients for seven out of 10 days.
The most recent available IDPH data shows Region 7 at 7.4% in the positivity rate metric, 25% for staffed ICU bed metric, and a decrease in hospital patients for all but one day since November 26.
Region 8, which includes DuPage County, is also moving in the right direction and could be close to joining Region 7 in Tier 1. Region 8 meets the required metric for hospital bed availability, with 29% as of January 19.
However, the region falls just short for positivity rate and hospitalized COVID-19 patients. Region 8’s seven-day rolling positivity rate sits at 8.2% and has six out of 10 days of decreased COVID-19 patients in the hospital.
Naperville News 17’s Casey Krajewski reports.
If you have a story idea or news tip you want to share, we want to hear from you!