The Quad-Cities, and the entire state of Illinois, has been on Tier 3 mitigation rules since Nov. 20.

Have things gotten any better since then? Are we making positive progress to possibly get out of the mitigation zone?

Governor JB Pritzker has already said that Illinois will not leave mitigations at least until after the new year, regardless of numbers, as a preventative measure. But if things continue to go in a positive direction, could we see any leeway after New Year’s Day?

Despite a lot of bad news in regard to covid overall statewide, some encouraging signs have been seen in various regions.

Is The Quad-Cities Close To Moving Out Of Covid-19 Restrictions?

In order for a region to move forward from Tier 3 mitigation rules, several statistical benchmarks have to be met. Those include the following:

The region’s seven-day positivity rate must drop below 12% for three consecutive days.

The region’s percentage of available ICU and medical/surgical beds must also be above 20% for three consecutive days.

The region must see a decline in hospitalizations on seven of the previous 10 days of available statistics.

Is the Quad-Cities anywhere close to getting out of that zone?

As of Sunday, here’s where all the zones in Illinois, including Rock Island County, stood in regard to the covid mitigations (data provided by the Illinois Department of Health):

Region 1 (Northwest Illinois):

This region’s positivity rate has now been below the 12% threshold for seven consecutive days, continuing its fall to 9.6% as of Dec. 17, according to the IDPH. Hospital bed availability (25.4%) and ICU bed availability (22.9%) are both slowly increasing, while hospitalizations have decreased for the last 10 days in a row, meaning that the region could be pulled back from Tier 3 mitigations if the governor’s office elects to do so.

Is The Quad-Cities Close To Moving Out Of Covid-19 Restrictions?

Region 2 (West-Central Illinois; including the Quad-Cities):

The positivity rate in this region has been declining steadily in recent weeks, dropping to 9.4% on Dec. 17. Hospital bed availability (24.1%) and ICU bed availability (19.9%) has remained steady for the last week, ending an increase that had been taking place until Dec. 14. Hospitalizations have decreased the last six days, however.

Region 3 (West Illinois):

The positivity rate in this region is nearing a level where indoor dining could safely resume, currently at 8.4%, but hospital bed availability and ICU bed availability remain a challenge, sitting at 24.3% and 13.6%, respectively. Hospitalizations have decreased for the last nine days.

Region 4 (Southwest Illinois):

This region’s positivity rate dropped to 11.7% on Dec. 17, the first day it’s been below the 12% threshold. Hospital bed availability (17.1%) and ICU bed availability (17.7%) are starting to increase after bottoming out on Dec. 12, and hospitalizations have decreased each of the last three days.

Region 5 (South Illinois):

The region’s positivity rate bumped back up to 12% on Dec. 12, while its ICU bed availability dropped to 17.1%. Hospital bed availability remains strong at 31.3%, but hospitalizations did tick upward on Saturday, officials said.

Is The Quad-Cities Close To Moving Out Of Covid-19 Restrictions?

Region 6 (East-Central Illinois):

The region’s positivity rate is one of the lowest in the state, currently at 8.2%, while hospital bed (25.3%) and ICU bed availability (25.4%) have declined each of the last three days. Hospitalizations are slowly decreasing, however.

Region 7 (Will, Kankakee counties):

The positivity rate did tick upward on Dec. 17, rising to 11.7%, while hospital bed (21.5%) and ICU bed availability (23.7%) are both above the 20% threshold for the first time in recent memory. Hospitalizations are decreasing sharply over the last 10 days, dropping from 284 patients on Dec. 10 to 220 on Dec. 20.

Region 8 (Kane, DuPage counties):

The positivity rate in the region is down to 10.5%, while hospital bed (15.9%) and ICU bed availability (20.2%) both have remained largely steady over the last four days. Hospitalizations have decreased nine of the last 10 days in this region.

Region 9 (McHenry, Lake counties):

The region’s positivity rate has steadied at 10.8%, while ICU bed availability has also stabilized around 25.5%. Hospital bed availability (15.1%) remains a concern, while the region has seen hospitalizations increase each of the last two days.

Region 10 (Suburban Cook County):

While the region’s positivity rate (11.1%) and its hospitalization rates are both within needed thresholds, the region’s availability of hospital beds (17.8%) and ICU beds (17.5%) remain too low to move forward from Tier 3 mitigations.

Region 11 (Chicago):

Chicago’s positivity rate has dropped to 11.3% and hospitalizations have decreased on nine of the last 10 days, while ICU bed availability has climbed to 22.8%. Hospital bed availability remains low, sitting at 16.2%, officials say.

In Region 1, located in northwest Illinois, all four coronavirus metrics are being met at this time, with steadily declining numbers in hospitalizations and positivity rates. Region 6, located in east-central Illinois, is seeing similar gains in its metrics, according to data available from IDPH.

The state has indicated that regions won’t be moved forward from Tier 3 mitigation restrictions during the holiday season, so it’s unclear when those regions will see restrictions eased.

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Is The Quad-Cities Close To Moving Out Of Covid-19 Restrictions?
Sean Leary is an author, director, artist, musician, producer and entrepreneur who has been writing professionally since debuting at age 11 in the pages of the Comics Buyers Guide. An honors graduate of the University of Southern California masters program, he has written over 50 books including the best-sellers The Arimathean, Every Number is Lucky to Someone and We Are All Characters.