ILLINOIS, USA — The Metro East is nearing the positivity rate threshold that could result in tightening restrictions, the Illinois Department of Health's website showed Monday.
Region 4 of Illinois' reopening plan — which is made up of Bond, Clinton, Madison, Monroe, Randolph, St. Clair, Washington counties — has reported an increase in the seven-day average positivity rate seven times in the last 10 days, topping out at 7.1% Monday. If hospital utilization increases or the positivity rate surpasses eight percent, the area could see new restrictions.
The increased hospital utilization has not happened in the area. The number of new patients with COVID-like illness at area hospitals has only increased once in the last 10 days. It would need to increase seven out of 10 days to trigger new restrictions.
The positivity rate alone could cause harsher restrictions if it rises above eight percent for more than three days in a row. The seven-day average positivity rate increased from 4.5% on July 8 to 7.1% Monday and could surpass 8% by the end of the week if the trend continues.
If the region does see three days of average positivity over 8%, the health department would consider implementing what it calls tier-one mitigation efforts. Those efforts could include:
- Reducing indoor dining capacity and suspend indoor bar service
- Reducing elective surgeries and procedures and limiting hospital visitation
- Additional limits on gatherings and room capacity at meetings, social events and religious gatherings
- Reducing indoor capacity at gyms and shops
Of the counties in the Metro East, St. Clair County(3,095) and Madison County(1,534) have the highest number of cases. In both counties, the numbers have increased in the weeks since the state loosened restrictions.
The positivity rate in each county has started flattening out or slowly increasing over the last few weeks.
In response to rising cases, St. Clair County has resumed daily COVID-19 briefings on the St. Clair County EMA Facebook page.