Quad-Cities And Other Illinois Regions Could Lift Covid Restrictions Next Week
As Illinois hits its one-millionth case of covid-19, Governor J.B. Pritzker announced today that Illinois’ 11 regions could possibly lift Tier 3 restrictions as early as next week if they’ve hit the right metrics.
“On Jan. 15, exactly one incubation period from New Year’s Day, any region that has met the metrics for a reduction of mitigations will be able to move out of Tier Three of our mitigation plan,” Pritzker said during his online press conference briefing on covid.
Illinois has been in Tier 3 mitigations since Nov. 20. The restrictions shut down indoor dining and other indoor recreation venues like theaters, casinos and live performance venues, suspended indoor dining entirely, and lowered capacity for outdoor dining and other activities.
According to the metrics put forth by Pritzker on Nov. 20, a region can move down to phase 4 mitigations if it sees a test positivity rate less than 12% for three consecutive days and more than 20% of ICU and hospital beds are available, as well as declining COVID-19 hospitalizations in seven of the previous 10 days. A number of Illinois regions are near or below those numbers.
Pritzker touted the mitigations as helping the state avoid even more catastrophic numbers, saying Illinois “did not experience the post-Thanksgiving uptick that plagued much of the country,” and that the mitigations and their duration has put the state on the course to open up more safely.
“Since Nov. 30, I have maintained – at the advice of Dr. [Anthony] Fauci, the [Illinois Department of Public Health] and other infectious
disease experts – that it would be unwise to downgrade any region from our current Tier Three mitigations while in the holiday season, when people were particularly prone to gather in multi-family groups and do it without masks – the things that could deliver the worrisome ‘surge upon a surge,'” Pritzker said during an online press conference. “I’m cautiously optimistic as there are some early signs indicating that some regions have made real progress and won’t reverse that progress this week or next.”
Still, we’re not completely out of the woods. As of Thursday night, 3,777 patients in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19. Of those, 780 patients were in the ICU and 422 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators, according to statistics from the Illinois Department of Health.
Illinois health officials reported 9,277 new COVID-19 cases and 126 deaths Friday.
The total number of cases in Illinois now stands at 1,017,322, with a total of 17,395 deaths, since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.