In his COVID-19 update press conference today, Governor Pritzker announced that regions across the state that have met the criteria will be able to move from Tier 3 mitigations into Tier 2 effective immediately.
Three Regions Move to Tier 2
In order for a region to move back to Tier 2 mitigations, a region must experience less than 12 percent test positivity rate for three consecutive days AND greater than 20 percent available intensive care unit and hospital bed availability AND declining COVID hospitalizations in 7 out of the last 10 days.
The first three regions to move on to Tier 2 are regions 1, 2, and 5.
Region 7 which is made up of Kankakee and Will counties and region 8 which includes Kane and DuPage counties, will likely meet the criteria in the next few days.
Currently, region 8 has recorded 11 consecutive days under the 12% threshold, with a current 7-day rolling positivity rate average of 9.8%. The region also has 11 straight days of over 20% ICU bed availability. There have been declining hospitalizations in nine of the last 10 days. What is holding the region back is two consecutive days of hospital bed availability under 20%.
Region 7, which contains parts of southeast Naperville, has declining COVID hospitalizations in only 6 of the last 10 days. However, the ICU bed availability and hospital bed availability have been over 20% for 11 consecutive days. The positivity rate for the region sits at 9.7% according to the most recent data.
Tier 2 Restrictions
Organized group recreational activities, including sports and fitness center operations, are allowed to resume but are limited to 25% capacity or 25 people or less.
Video gaming machine operations as well as gambling at casinos are able to resume in Tier 2.
Under Tier 2, there still is no indoor service at bars or restaurants, social events and gatherings, including weddings, funerals and potlucks.
Indoor Dining Can Return in Tier 1
Increased Vaccine Distribution
Illinois is currently in Phase 1A of the state’s vaccination distribution plan, which includes health care workers and long term care facility residents and staff.
Beginning Monday, January 25th, the Illinois Department of Public Health will permit local health departments who have already substantially completed their 1A populations to move forward with Phase 1B in order to leave no vaccine on the shelves.
Phase 1B will also include front line essential workers, who are classified as those whose work duties can’t be done remotely. It will also include residents from the age of 65 to 74.
While vaccine shipments from the federal government remains limited, the state is aggressively building out its capacity to prepare, with hundreds of additional pharmacy sites coming online starting Monday and the Illinois National Guard deploying to support local health department vaccination sites starting Tuesday, both initially only available to the 1A population.
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