Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker announced in his Thursday COVID-19 update the continuation of ‘strict mitigations’ for region 7 of the Restore Illinois Plan, which includes Will and Kankakee Counties. The restrictions were placed originally when the region surpassed a positivity rate of 8%.
Pritzker Keeps Region 7 Restrictions
Due to elevated positivity rates, observed on a rolling 7-day average, Region 7 (which includes a portion of Naperville) was given additional restrictions. In effect since August 26th, the new guidelines prohibit indoor dining and group gatherings of more than 25 people.
Noted by the Governor, there has been a downward trend in the rolling positivity average in Region 7, which currently sits at 7.5%. The Illinois Department of Public Health will continuing monitoring the region. Dropping below the 8% mark means that no further mitigations will be instituted for Region 7 at this time.
Under the Restore Illinois Plan, the region must have positivity rates averaging or below 6.5 percent to be allowed to move back to Phase 4 regulations.
“I’m hoping that Region 7 might become a testament to the community’s ability to turn this ship around in the right direction,” said Pritzker. “If they keep up the good work, Region 7 will soon be restored to Phase 4 mitigations which would mean higher indoor capacity limits for gatherings and businesses like restaurants and bars.”
Calls for Reversal from NACC
The Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce (NACC) previously joined other area Chambers in a letter to Governor J.B. Pritzker asking for a reversal in the prohibition of indoor dining for Will and Kankakee counties.
The letter reads:
“We stand together and write to you to share our very serious concerns with the recent decision to implement what we believe are unfair restrictions targeted at the restaurant and bar industry. One of the greatest and most displeasing issues is the fact that our Region 7 has not been afforded the same opportunity as the businesses in Region 4 to reduce the number of inside patrons at bars and restaurants before moving onto harsher restrictions.”
They asked for the governor to reverse his decision and allow the establishments to open for indoor dining at less than 25 people or 25% capacity.
The request was denied in a written response from the governor’s office.
Kevin Jackman reporting for Naperville News 17
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