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Pritzker announces eventual limited indoor dining, some “low risk” sports

Friday, Jan 15, 2021

* Press release…

Following a decrease in COVID-19 test positivity rates and hospitalizations throughout Illinois, Governor JB Pritzker announced regions across the state are now eligible to move out of Tier 3 mitigations, the strictest tier of Illinois’ resurgence mitigation plan, implemented shortly before Thanksgiving, in response to a surge of COVID-19 statewide and across the Midwest. After weeks of careful consultation with public health experts to balance the need to save lives and support our hospital systems with protecting our economy, the Governor announced that regions could resume moving out of the tiered resurgence mitigations (Tier 3, Tier 2, and Tier 1) and back into Phase 4 on a data-driven basis.

The Governor also announced adjustments to the resurgence mitigations in light of ramped up vaccination efforts across the state, with Tier 1 of the resurgence mitigation plan now allowing restaurants and bars in a qualifying region to resume indoor dining with limited capacity. Youth and recreational sports may also resume play following the Illinois Department of Public Health’s (IDPH) All Sports Policy in all regions moving out of Tier 3.

In addition, the Governor announced Phase 1A of the Illinois COVID-19 Vaccination Administration Plan is on track to be substantially completed next week, with the entire state moving to Phase 1B on Monday, January 25. In accordance with local progress, IDPH has permitted local health departments who have already substantially completed their 1A populations to move forward with 1B in order to leave no vaccine on the shelves. 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.
COVID-19 Mitigations

The State of Illinois remains committed to following the guidance of public health experts by implementing mitigations to keep communities safe. In response to decreased positivity rates, hospitalization rates, and hospital bed usage, any region that has met the metrics for a reduction of mitigations will move out of Tier 3 to less restrictive measures beginning today.

Governor Pritzker and IDPH first announced the Resurgence Mitigation Plan on July 15, 2020, taking a regional approach to suppress the spread of the virus. After a wave of COVID-19 surged across Illinois and the nation last fall, all 11 of the Restore Illinois regions moved into Tier 3 mitigations on November 20, 2020. By adhering to meaningful mitigations throughout the holiday season, the state was able to bring down rates of community spread, allowing for regions to once again move forward in the state’s mitigations plan effective January 15, 2021.

IDPH will continue to work with local health departments to monitor regional resurgence, with the guiding short-term goal of getting as many regions as possible back to Phase 4, the last step before Phase 5, when we have enough vaccine and therapeutics available to fully reopen.

As of today, regions that will move into Tie 2 include:

Tier 2

    • Region 1 - North
    o Boone, Carroll, DeKalb, Jo Daviess, Lee, Ogle, Stephenson, Whiteside, Winnebago
    • Region 2 - North-Central
    o Bureau, Fulton, Grundy, Henderson, Henry, Kendall, Knox, La Salle, Livingston, Marshall, McDonough, McLean, Mercer, Peoria, Putnam, Rock Island, Stark, Tazewell, Warren, Woodford
    • Region 5 - Southern
    o Alexander, Edwards, Franklin, Gallatin, Hamilton, Hardin, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Marion, Massac, Perry, Pope, Pulaski, Saline, Union, Wabash, Wayne, White, Williamson

At this time, Regions 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11 will remain in Tier 3 Mitigations, with several likely to meet the metrics to move to Tier 2 in the coming days if current trends hold.

IDPH will continue to monitor the regional metrics and move regions down to Tier 2, to Tier 1, and ultimately back to Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois plan on a rolling basis.

In order to move to Tier 2 mitigations, a region must meet the following metrics:

    1. A test positivity rate below 12 percent for three consecutive days, as measured by the 7-day rolling average; AND
    2. Greater than or equal to 20 percent available staffed ICU and medical/surgical hospital beds for three consecutive days, on a 3-day rolling average; AND
    3. A sustained decrease in the number of people in the hospital with COVID-19 for seven out of 10 days, on a 7-day average.

In order to move to Tier 1 mitigations, a region must meet the following metrics:

    1. A test positivity rate below 8 percent for three consecutive days, as measured by the 7-day rolling average; AND
    2. Greater than or equal to 20 percent available staffed ICU and medical/surgical hospital beds for three consecutive days, on a 3-day rolling average; AND
    3. No sustained increase in the number of people in the hospital with COVID-19 for seven out of 10 days, on a 7-day average.

In order to move to Phase 4, a region must meet the following metrics:

    1. A test positivity rate less than or equal to 6.5 percent for three consecutive days, as measured by the 7-day rolling average; AND
    2. Greater than or equal to 20 percent available staffed ICU and medical/surgical hospital beds for three consecutive days, on a 3-day rolling average; AND
    3. No sustained increase in the number of people in the hospital with COVID-19 for seven out of 10 days, on a 7-day average.

These metrics continue to be part of a data-driven approach that helps manage the risk of community transmission as well as hospital availability.

As the pandemic has evolved, so has the state’s response. The updated plan accounts for months of continued deliberations by public health officials as well as the rollout of the first COVID-19 vaccines. The key change to the Mitigation Plan announced in July is resuming indoor dining with capacity limits in Tier 1.

Restaurants and bars in Regions in Tier 1 can open indoor dining with capacity limited to the lesser of 25 people or 25 percent of room capacity. Additionally, establishments must serve food and indoor tables must be limited to no more than four people, with reservations limited to two hours. Outdoor dining regulations across the resurgence plan and Phase 4 remain unchanged. […]

Additionally, Regions moving out of Tier 3 mitigations can resume youth and recreational sports under the statewide All Sports Policy. Greater levels of play will be permitted as metrics improve into the subsequent tier.

* More from the Sun-Times

The Illinois Department of Public Health website updated the status of high school sports on Friday.

According to the site, low-risk sports can play conference and intra-region games. Low risk sports include boys and girls bowling, cheerleading, dance, girls gymnastics and boys swimming and diving and badminton.

The site says medium-risk sports (soccer, volleyball, water polo) can have practices but not play games. Higher-risk sports (basketball, football, hockey, lacrosse, wrestling) can hold no-contact practices.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

14 Comments
  1. - Smalls - Friday, Jan 15, 21 @ 1:14 pm:

    So are the youth sports dependent on if the region has been moved back to Tier 2? The IDPH site referenced from the Sun Times article above does not reference any regional differences.


  2. - JB13 - Friday, Jan 15, 21 @ 1:31 pm:

    Indoor dining back under Tier 1, eh?

    So the governor must be OK with restaurants killing all their customers? /s

    Seriously, a good decision today by the governor. As more vaccine is distributed, and more people recover and gain some measure of natural immunity, the stance of “Everybody needs to stay home, forever (banned punctuation)” will become increasingly fringe.


  3. - what? - Friday, Jan 15, 21 @ 1:42 pm:

    They have to do a better job of writing these releases in the way regular people with day jobs can quickly understand. Absolutely bonkers to expect working-class folks to somehow track which Region they’re in, what each Tier equals, and what Phase of the vaccination plan we’re in.

    And, yes, I know that they also post about this stuff on social media but still — these releases are nearly unreadable.

    An out of state friend asked me yesterday (over the phone) if we had indoor dining and I honestly didn’t even know the answer because things are shifting so much and the comms has been so byzantine.


  4. - harp5339 - Friday, Jan 15, 21 @ 1:44 pm:

    == So are the youth sports dependent on if the region has been moved back to Tier 2? ==

    Tier 3 mitigations superseded the All Sports Policy and “paused” all indoor sports activity. Regions moving to Tier 2 could resume activities within those guidelines, mainly low risk sports competitions can resume, and limited training/practice for medium and high risk.


  5. - PMS - Friday, Jan 15, 21 @ 1:50 pm:

    @what - thank you. I was too embarrassed to ask for interpretation, and I am fluent in state government-ese.


  6. - Todd - Friday, Jan 15, 21 @ 1:55 pm:

    so around hear most of the restaurants and bars have been open and defying the Gov’s orders. Same with some areas west of me that are in another region. Funny they got opened up today.

    so what does that say about their matrix or how they judge this thing? on 11/17 they reimposed tier 3, and yet the very areas where people and business flipped the Gov the bird and said we are not going to obey and are now the vary areas “opening” up.


  7. - JS Mill - Friday, Jan 15, 21 @ 2:03 pm:

    =Everyone knows he’s an expert on high school sports.=

    LOl, unlike every parent that thinks their are an expert because they have a kid or went to school.


  8. - essentially working - Friday, Jan 15, 21 @ 2:14 pm:

    So boys aren’t allowed to do gymnastics? Got it.


  9. - harp5339 - Friday, Jan 15, 21 @ 2:56 pm:

    == So boys aren’t allowed to do gymnastics? Got it. ==

    Boys gymnastics is a Spring sport on the IHSA calendar.


  10. - tea_and_honey - Friday, Jan 15, 21 @ 2:56 pm:

    ==essentially working==

    That list referenced winter season IHSA sports. Boy’s gymnastics is a spring season sport. That’s why boy’s swimming but not girl’s swimming is listed - the seasons are different.


  11. - Cool Papa Bell - Friday, Jan 15, 21 @ 3:35 pm:

    If the vaccines really work at preventing death and the LTC numbers are too be trusted. We should start to see a dramatic fall off in death numbers in about 4 weeks. That’s enough time for the second dose to be out and many more with a limited but decent ability to stay healthy after their first vaccine.

    I’ll be very interested in the over all numbers now on March 1st. I think the month of March will be a watershed moment when you can actually start to see the very end of the tunnel finally.


  12. - Ed Equity - Friday, Jan 15, 21 @ 3:42 pm:

    Hockey players wear gloves and face shields. Who decides on what is high risk and low risk?


  13. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Friday, Jan 15, 21 @ 3:49 pm:

    I don’t know. I understood it. Chicago has to decrease its positivity rate to below 8% below it can reach Tier 1. It meets the currently meets other conditions. The 8% positivity rate has been a benchmark for a while.


  14. - Keyrock - Friday, Jan 15, 21 @ 4:09 pm:

    It’s difficult to reconcile this announcement with today’s CDC warning of a massive new spike from the mutated coronavirus. If that spike happens, today’s decision may turn out to be premature.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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