As of 5 p.m. Friday (Sept. 18, 2020), health officials announced that Region 7 — which includes Will and Kankakee counties — is off the Illinois Department of Public Health mitigations and will return to Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois Plan.
The announcement follows weeks of close coordination between IDPH and local health departments, as well as a concerted effort by community leaders and residents to follow the additional mitigation measures implemented on Aug. 26, 2020.
Region 7 moved to stricter mitigations following three consecutive days of a rolling positivity rate above 8%.
As of Friday, Region 7 has reached the threshold to lift mitigations of three consecutive days of a rolling positivity rate below 6.5%, with today’s rate at 5.6%. This means that as of 5 p.m. Friday, indoor dining and bar service can resume along with larger gathering sizes as outlined in Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois plan.
“I want to commend and thank those in Region 7 for working together to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in their communities,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike. “Moving from a greater than 8% rolling positivity rate to below 6.5 percent in a matter of weeks demonstrates how concerted efforts to reduce exposure risks through limiting large gatherings, increased masking and other mitigation measures can truly make a difference. It also shows how quickly the positivity rate can move, in either direction. Because of the speed in which the rate can change, we must continue to wear our masks, watch our distance, and follow the guidance in Phase 4 of Restore Illinois. It will take all of us working together to get through this.”
Over the last few weeks, IDPH has worked closely with elected officials and community leaders in Region 7 to slow the spread of COVID-19 and bring down the number of positive cases in the area, helping bring the region from a rolling positivity rate above 8 percent to 5.6 percent. IDPH will continue working closely with the region to ensure residents continue to follow the mitigations that remain in place and wear face covering to will help prevent another spike in cases.
IDPH continues to monitor each region in the state for several key indicators to identify early, but significant increases of COVID-19 transmission in Illinois, potentially signifying resurgence. These indicators can be used to determine whether additional community mitigation interventions are needed to prevent the further spread of COVID-19.
Additional measures will be implemented if a region experiences an increase in COVID-19 test positivity with a simultaneous decrease in hospital capacity or increase in hospital admissions for COVID-like-illness, or if the seven-day rolling positivity rate is above 8% for three consecutive days.
Region 4, the Metro East region, which is currently operating under additional mitigations, continues to report a seven-day rolling positivity rate above 8 percent. Additional mitigations can be found online here.
A full list of mitigation measures pertaining to certain businesses and industries may be found on the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity website at www.dceocovid19resources.com/
SOURCE: IDPH news release