Youth and recreational sports return as Region 2 moves to Phase 4 Monday


PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — After months of Region 2 battling COVID-19, the Illinois Department of Public Health said the region can return to Phase 4 Monday morning.

Effective immediately, Region 2 will move to Phase 4, with the biggest changes affecting youth and recreational sports.

Student-athletes can now continue competitive gameplay and tournaments are also permitted for sports in the moderate and lower risk zone like boys swimming, girls bowling, cheerleading, and dance to practice immediately and participate in competitions.

Higher-risk sports like football can compete in intra-team scrimmages. While there are no medium-risk IHSA sports in the winter, boys & girls basketball are the only high-risk winter sports.

Region 2 consists of these counties:

  • Bureau
  • Fulton
  • Grundy
  • Henderson
  • Henry
  • Kendall
  • Knox
  • La Salle
  • Livingston
  • Marshall
  • McDonough
  • McLean
  • Mercer
  • Peoria
  • Putnam,
  • Rock Island
  • Stark
  • Tazewell
  • Warren
  • Woodford

“Over the past several months, communities in Region 2 in Illinois have made progress in reducing community spread of COVID-19, allowing us to continue to lift restrictions,” Administrator Peoria City/County Health Department Administrator Monica Hendrickson said. “We will continue to monitor the health metrics as we now roll out our COVID-19 vaccine distribution plans. Please practice the healthcare guidance and vaccination procedures, so we can allow our communities to resume activities safely.”

Other changes include group sizes for meetings and social events, which can now have 50 people or 50% of room capacity. Restaurants and bars can permit parties of up to 10 people and mall food courts can reopen with the indoor dining and drinking guidelines.

Region 2 met the following metrics to move into Phase 4:

  • Test positivity rate ≤  6.5% for three consecutive days (7-day average)
  • Staffed ICU bed availability ≥ 20% for three consecutive days (7-day average)
  • No sustained increase in COVID-19 patients in hospital (7-day average for 7 of 10 days)

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