BREAKING: Quad-Cities Reducing Covid Mitigations Starting Friday
BREAKING: As first reported on QuadCities.com, the Quad-Cities region will be reducing covid-19 mitigations starting Friday, as confirmed today during Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker’s press conference on covid mitigations in the state.
“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 3 of our mitigation plan,” Pritzker said.
Illinois Region 2 — including Rock Island, Bureau, Stark, Henry, and Mercer counties — will step back from Tier 3 mitigations and move
down to Tier 2.
Three regions in Illinois are currently qualified to move forward from Tier 3 mitigations, including the Quad-Cities’ Region 2; Region 3, which includes Springfield, and Region 7, comprised of Will and Kankakee counties.
“As regions moved into mitigations with a data-driven approach, beginning again on January 15th, they can move to lower tiers of mitigations,” Pritzker said.
Barring a drastic uptick in numbers, which seems unlikely following current trends, the Quad-Cities’ Region 2 will move up to Tier 2. Here’s a full list of what the new mitigations allow — including larger numbers allowed at sporting events and other recreational activities.
According to the metrics put forth by Pritzker on Nov. 20, a region can move down to Tier 2 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.
According to numbers released this weekend, the Quad-Cities’ Region 2 saw its positivity rate go up to 9.6 percent, up from 8.9 percent a week earlier, but still below the 12 percent threshold needed. Region 2 saw good numbers in regard to its seven-day rolling average number of COVID-19 patients in the region’s hospitals, going down to 305 on Jan. 7, down from 331 a week earlier and falling on nine of the past 10 days. The Quad-Cities Region hits the trifecta in regard to reduced mitigations due to its rolling average of hospital bed availability, as the three-day rolling average availability was 22.4 percent for surgical beds and 23.8 percent for ICU beds on Jan. 7 — making it 11 consecutive days that both numbers have remained above the 20 percent threshold, also a positive sign.
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.
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.”
For more info on the region metrics in Illinois click here.
For ongoing coverage of the situation, check in with your free, fact-based local media, QuadCities.com.