New COVID-19 Mitigation Efforts in Metro East

Aug. 17, 2020

Governor J.B. Pritzker and the Illinois Dept. of Public Health are implementing new COVID-19 mitigation efforts in the Metro East area (Region 4) as of Tuesday, Aug. 18. Region 4 has reported three consecutive days of a test positivity rate of 8% or higher, triggering several measures under the state’s COVID-19 Mitigation Plan.

The measures include the closing of bars, restaurants, and casinos by 11 p.m., the closing of party buses and the reduction of gathering sizes to the lesser of 25 people or 25% of room capacity.

“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, I have made it clear that neither arbitrary dates on a calendar nor political pressure will dictate Illinois' efforts to protect our people. If the data shows we need to go backwards in our reopening, I won't hesitate to tighten restrictions to protect our collective health,” said Governor Pritzker. “Region 4 of our statewide 11 reopening regions – the Metro East – has now surpassed an 8 percent seven-day rolling average positivity rate – a trend that I have made clear would trigger stricter mitigations when this plan was announced in July. Working with local officials in the Metro East region and across the border in St. Louis, we are implementing stricter mitigations that account for the unique factors in this region. [IDPH Director] Dr. Ezike and I are imploring local leaders and residents alike: if you haven't been taking this seriously yet, now is the time to start.”

IDPH will track the positivity rate in Region 4 to determine if mitigations can be relaxed, if additional mitigations are required, or if current mitigation should remain in place. If the positivity rate averages less than or equal to 6.5% over a 14-day period, the region will return to Phase 4 mitigations under the Restore Illinois Plan. If the positivity rate averages between 6.5% and 8%, IDPH will continue to monitor the region to determine if additional mitigations are needed. If the positivity rate averages greater than or equal to 8% after 14 days, more stringent mitigations will be applied, which can include the closure of indoor bars and dining.