Restaurant industry takes a hit: Region 2 to operate under resurgence mitigation

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CHICAGO, Ill. (WMBD) — No more indoor dining, late-night drinks, or being in public spaces with more than 25 people. Region 2 will operate under resurgence mitigations beginning Wednesday.

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker announced Sunday all 11 regions are seeing a steady increase in positivity rates and will implement new mitigation measures to slow the spread of COVID-19. Region two, which includes Rock Island, Henry, Bureau, Putnam, Kendall, Grundy, Mercer, Knox, Henderson, Warren, McDonough, Fulton, Stark, Marshall, Peoria, Tazewell, McLean, Woodford, Livingston, and Lasalle counties has seen a seven-day rolling average test positivity rate of 8% or higher for three consecutive days.

“Region 2 has now sustained an average positivity rate of 8 percent or higher for three consecutive days, meaning that now every region in Illinois will soon be operating under resurgence mitigations,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “I know that the vast majority of people in this state want to keep themselves safe, their families and children safe, their parents and neighbors and friends. I have always maintained enormous faith in the people of Illinois to do what’s right for each other. As cases, hospitalizations and deaths are rising across our state, across the Midwest and across the nation, we have to act responsibly and collectively to protect the people we love.”

The mitigation measures, which will be taking effect at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday include:

Bars 

  • No indoor service 
  • All outside bar service closes at 11:00 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 11:00 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 11:00 p.m., are limited to 25 percent capacity, and follow mitigations for bars and restaurants, if applicable 

Pritzker said these mitigations do not apply to schools or polling places.

The Illinois Department of Public Health said they will track the positivity rate in Region 2 to determine if mitigations can be relaxed or if additional mitigations are required. If the positivity rate average less than or equal to 6.5% for three consecutive days, then region 2 can return to phase 4 under the Restore Illinois Plan, but if it is higher than 6.5% and lower than 8% the new enforcements will remain in place and unchanged. If the positivity rate exceeds 8% after 14 days, stricter mitigations may be applied to further reduce the spread of the virus.

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