JOLIET, Ill. - New mitigation efforts were announced Monday by Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker and public health officials for Will and Kankakee counties in an effort to the tamp down an increasing number of COVID-19 cases in those areas.
The move comes as the Illinois Department of Public Health is reporting 1,612 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and eight additional deaths. Monday’s numbers bring the state’s total of COVID-19 cases to 221,790 and the number of fatalities to 7,888. Health officials say 36,155 tests were conducted, bringing the seven-day testing positivity rate for the entire state to 4.2%.
Beginning Wednesday, bars and restaurants in Region 7, which makes up Will and Kankakee counties, will no longer be allowed to offer indoor service. For those businesses with outdoor service, tables outdoors will be required to be six feet apart, and customers will not be allowed to congregate indoors or outdoors while waiting for a table or exiting. In addition, meetings, social events and gatherings will be limited to 25 guests or 25% of room capacity.
The restrictions were imposed after Region 7 reached an 8% positivity rate for COVID-19 over three days. The mitigation do not apply to schools and the measures will remain in effect over a 14-day period after which time more stringent mitigation measures can be implemented if the positivity rate does not improve, officials said.
Metro East in southern Illinois, which is in Region 4, continues operating under restrictions similar to that being imposed on Region 7. Officials say Region 4 continues to report increasing COVID-19 positivity rates and will have until Sept. 2 to bring those numbers down or see additional restrictions imposed on the area.