3 Regions Qualify To Move Out of Tier 3 Mitigations — Kane-DuPage Region 8 Could Be Next

3 Regions Qualify To Move Out of Tier 3 Mitigations — Kane-DuPage Region 8 Could Be Next

Limited indoor dining is one of the perks that three regions in the state of Illinois will enjoy, following an announcement today by the Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker.

The announcement follows a decrease in COVID-19 test positivity rates and hospitalizations throughout Illinois, according to a state of Illinois news release.

The three regions now eligible to move out of Tier 3 mitigations — the strictest tier of Illinois’ resurgence mitigation plan, implemented shortly before Thanksgiving — are Region 1 (Boone, Carroll, DeKalb, Jo Daviess, Lee, Ogle, Stephenson, Whiteside and Winnebago counties), Region 2 (Bureau, Fulton, Grundy, Henderson, Henry, Kendall, Knox, La Salle, Livingston, Marshall, McDonough, McLean, Mercer, Peoria, Putnam, Rock Island, Stark, Tazewell, Warren and Woodford counties) and Region 5 (Alexander, Edwards, Franklin, Gallatin, Hamilton, Hardin, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Marion, Massac, Perry, Pope, Pulaski, Saline, Union, Wabash, Wayne, White and Williamson counties).

Kane and DuPage Region 8 remains under Tier 3 mitigations. But Region 8 is trending in that direction and could see a move to Tier 2 in the coming days.

Region 8 and others will be allowed to move to Tier 2, Tier 1 and back into Phase 4 on a data-driven basis, which is explained in detail below.

State officials 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 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, Jan. 25.

In accordance with local progress, IDPH has permitted local health departments that 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.

How a Region Moves Out of Tier 3 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.

The 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 Tier 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% for three consecutive days, as measured by the seven-day rolling average; AND
2. Greater than or equal to 20% available staffed ICU and medical/surgical hospital beds for three consecutive days, on a three-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 seven-day average.

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

1. A test positivity rate below 8% for three consecutive days, as measured by the seven-day rolling average; AND
2. Greater than or equal to 20% available staffed ICU and medical/surgical hospital beds for three consecutive days, on a three-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 seven-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% 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.

Tier 1

Tier 2

  • Indoor service limited to lesser of 25% or 25 people per room
  • Establishment must serve food for indoor service
  • Reservations required and limited to 2 hours
  • No tables exceeding 4 people indoors
  • Bars and restaurants close at 11 p.m. and may reopen no earlier than 6 a.m. the following day
  • Suspend indoor service
  • Bars and restaurants close at 11 p.m. and may reopen no earlier than 6 a.m. the following day
  • No tables exceeding 6 people

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.

Risk Level Examples Play Allowed Tier 1 Play Allowed Tier 2
Low Baseball, Cross Country/ Track, Gymnastics, Swimming, etc. Level 1: No contact training

Level 2: Team scrimmage

Level 3: Intra-conference play

Level 4: Out-of-conference play, tournaments

Level 1: No contact training

Level 2: Team scrimmage

Level 3: Intra-conference play

Medium Soccer, Volleyball Level 1: No contact training

Level 2: Team scrimmage

Level 3: Intra-conference play

Level 1: No contact training

Level 2: Team scrimmage

High Basketball, Football, Hockey, Wrestling Level 1: No contact training

Level 2: Team scrimmage

Level 1: No contact training

SOURCE: state of Illinois news release