ROCHELLE — Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker and state health officials announced Thursday that Region 1 of the IDPH healthcare map, which includes Winnebago, DeKalb, Carroll, Jo Daviess, Whiteside, Boone, Ogle, Stephenson and Lee counties, will see Tier 2 COVID-19 restrictions beginning Sunday, Oct. 25.
Region 1 has been under Tier 1 of the state's resurgence mitigation plan since Oct. 3 after seeing a seven-day rolling average test positivity rate of 8 percent or above for three consecutive days. Beginning Oct. 25, Region 1 will face additional mitigations, such as a tighter gathering cap of 10 individuals rather than 25 and new table caps of six rather than 10 when eating out.
"We've said all along that if things don't start to turn around after two weeks in Tier 1, we can add more stringent measures to help usher in the progress we need to see to get things more open again," Pritzker said. "That is now the case in Region 1, which has seen its positivity rise by nearly two points since Oct. 14 alone. Region 1, bordering Wisconsin and Iowa, carries the additional responsibility of navigating a situation where the massive surge of cases in our neighboring states will continue to have a spillover effect. There is no easy fix. So as colder weather comes upon us - and brings flu season along with it - it's imperative that we take extra caution and extra care. Because at the end of the day, this is bigger than you. This is about all of us, and the communities we call home. We have to take care of each other."
Region 1’s positivity rate will be tracked by the IDPH to determine if and when restrictions can be relaxed or if additional restrictions are required. Region 1 can return to Phase 4 guidelines under the Restore Illinois Plan if the positivity rate averages less than or equal to 6.5 percent for three consecutive days. If the positivity rate averages between 6.5 and 8 percent, the new restrictions will remain unchanged. More restrictions can be applied if the positivity rate averages more than or equal to 8 percent after 14 days.
The COVID-19 restrictions taking effect on Sunday, Oct. 25 state that all bars and restaurants must close by 11 p.m. and remain closed until 6 a.m. the following day. No indoor bar or dining service will be allowed and all bar patrons should be seated at tables outside. No ordering, seating or congregating at the bars is allowed and bar stools should be removed. Tables must be 6 feet apart and no standing or congregating indoors or outdoors while waiting for a table or exiting. No dancing or standing indoors and no seating of multiple parties at one table. No tables can exceed six people. Reservations are required for each party.
The COVID-19 restrictions taking effect on Sunday, Oct. 25 for meetings, social events and gatherings include limiting to 10 guests in both indoor and outdoor settings. These are applicable to professional, religious and cultural and social group gatherings. These are not applicable to students participating in-person classroom learning, sports or polling places. This does not reduce the overall facility capacity dictated by general business guidance. No party buses are allowed. Gaming and casinos must close at 11 p.m., be limited to 25 percent capacity and follow restrictions for bars and restaurants, if applicable.
The COVID-19 restrictions taking effect on Sunday, Oct. 25 for organized group recreational activities including sports, but excluding fitness centers, include limiting to lesser of 25 guests or 25 percent of overall room capacity both indoors and outdoors. No groups of more than 10 people are allowed and the All Sports Policy remains in effect. Outdoor activities continue to follow the current Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity guidance.