ROCKFORD, Ill. - Gov. J.B. Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Public Health announced additional COVID-19 mitigation efforts that will be implemented in Region 1, Northwestern Illinois, beginning on Sunday, Oct. 25.
Region 1 includes Boone, Carroll, DeKalb, Jo Daviess, Lee, Ogle, Stephenson, Whiteside and Winnebago counties.
After mitigation efforts initially took effect on Oct. 3, the positivity rate has remained the highest in the state, reporting an 11.9 percent rolling positivity rate on Thursday.
“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,” said Gov. Pritzker. “That is now the case in Region 1, which has seen its positivity rise by nearly two points since October 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.”
“We know that people and communities need to work together to lower viral spread and reduce the number of new cases being diagnosed,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike. “I urge people in Region 1 to look at their activities and what they can do to reduce spread. Consider postponing having people over to your home for a celebration, make sure you are distancing from other people, and wear your mask anytime you’re around others.”
Additional mitigation measures that will take effect Sunday for Region 1 include:
Bars and Restaurants:
- Reduce party size from 10 to six individuals
Meetings, Social Events and Gatherings:
- Maximum indoor/outdoor gathering size of 10 individuals
- Applicable to professional, religious, cultural and social group gatherings
- Not applicable to students participating in-person classroom learning
- This does not reduce the overall facility capacity dictated by general business guidance, such as office, retail, etc.
- Not applicable to sports, see sports guidance
- Maintain lesser of 25 people/25 percent of capacity
- No groups more than 10 individuals
- Does not apply to fitness
These mitigations do not apply to schools or polling places.
Illinois is now averaging over 70,000 tests per day and on Thursday the administration reported surpassing 7 million total tests.
To find the nearest testing center, please visit DPH.Illinois.Gov/Testing.
IDPH says the department will continue to track the positivity rate in Region 1 to determine if mitigations can be relaxed, if additional mitigations are required or if current mitigation should remain in place.
A full list of mitigation measures pertaining to some businesses and industries may be found on the DCEO website here.