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COVID-19 restrictions coming to more Illinois counties

Indoor service at bars and restaurants will be prohibited, and there will be limits on gatherings

SPRINGFIELD, Ill — More COVID-19 restrictions are coming next week to Illinois counties, including Calhoun, Jersey, Green, Macoupin, Montgomery and Pike, due to an increase in positivity rates.

Those counties are included in Region 3, which has seen a 7-day rolling average test positivity rate at 8% or higher for three days in a row, triggering the restrictions. Starting Sunday, indoor service at bars and restaurants will be prohibited, and there will be limits on gatherings.

“Something has got to give, and these mitigations aim to cut down on those high-risk activities until we bring down the positivity rate in an area once again," Gov. J.B. Pritzker said in a press release. "Because let’s be clear: well-meaning and reasonable people can have fair disagreements about how and where to draw lines and connect dots – but when every single metric in every single corner of the state is trending poorly, we have to take meaningful action to keep our people safe.”

This is the first time Pritzker's administration has implemented the restrictions in this region due to increasing positivity, the release said.

“For those residents living in regions and communities where the virus didn’t seem to be ‘that bad,’ things are changing with positivity rates steadily increasing," said Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike. "We’ve seen regions move into and then out of mitigation, so we know the measures work. The more people adhere to the measures, the quicker we can move out of mitigation.”

Some counties in this region have seen sharp increases in their positivity rates. For example, the positivity rate in Calhoun County was 0.8% on Oct. 16. Ten days later, it jumped to 6.3%.

However, Jersey County has seen a decrease. Its positivity rate was 11.4 on Oct. 16 and fell to 4.9% on Oct. 26.

Six out of the state's 11 regions are currently under mitigation measures, including the region that encompasses the Metro East.

RELATED: No indoor dining, no bar service | COVID-19 restrictions return to Metro East Wednesday

The following are the restrictions, as outlined by the Illinois Department of Public Health. They do not apply to schools or polling places.

Bars 

  • No indoor service
  • All outside bar service closes at 11 p.m.
  • All bar patrons should be seated at tables outside
  • No ordering, seating, or congregating at bar (bar stools should be removed)
  • Tables should be 6 feet apart
  • No standing or congregating indoors or outdoors while waiting for a table or exiting
  • No dancing or standing indoors
  • Reservations required for each party
  • No seating of multiple parties at one table

Restaurants 

  • No indoor dining or bar service
  • All outdoor dining closes at 11 p.m.
  • Outside dining tables should be 6 feet apart
  • No standing or congregating indoors or outdoors while waiting for a table or exiting
  • Reservations required for each party
  • No seating of multiple parties at one table

Meetings, Social Events, Gatherings 

  • Limit to lesser of 25 guests or 25 percent of overall room capacity
  • 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

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