Lake and McHenry Counties Move to COVID-19 Tier 1

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) today announced that Lake and McHenry counties, along with DuPage and Kane counties, are moving to Tier 1 COVID-19 mitigations, effective today. 

The IDPH website has complete, albeit sometimes contradictory information about all Illinois regions and their respective mitigation phases.   

According to the IDPH statements, it will continue to closely monitor test positivity, ICU bed availability, and the number of people in the hospital with COVID-19. Should data show regions trending in the wrong direction, based on the established mitigation metrics, regions could once again be mandated to a a higher tier, with increased mitigation measures.

Here’s a summary of the new guidelines, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health:

RESTAURANTS AND BARS

  • Dining inside is now permitted, for up to 25 guests or 25% capacity per room.
  • No ordering, seating, or congregating at a bar (bar stools should be removed) and all indoor service must include food. Patrons must be seated at tables, which should be six feet apart.

ORGANIZED GROUP RECREATIONAL ACTIVITIES

  • Sports should follow the mitigation measures set forth in the All Sports Guidance, which outlines appropriate levels of practice and competition based on individual sport risk.
  • Face coverings must be worn at all times in fitness centers, including while engaged in individual exercise regardless of person or machine spacing.
  • Recreation, fitness centers and outdoor activities (not included in the above exposure settings) must follow Phase 4 guidance.

MEETINGS AND SOCIAL EVENTS

Social events are now permitted for up to 25 guests or 25% of overall room capacity, both indoors and outdoors. Note that “Meetings and Social Events” are not applicable to students participating in in-person classroom learning or sports.

What Makes a Region Move from Tier to Tier?

Metrics for moving from a higher to lower tier are as follows:

Moving from Tier 3 to Tier 2

  • Test positivity rate = 8% and below 12% for three consecutive days (7-day average); AND
  • Staffed ICU bed availability = 20% for three consecutive days (7-day average); AND
  • Sustained decline in COVID patients in hospital (7-day average for 7 of 10 days)

Moving from Tier 2 to Tier 1

  • Test positivity rate between 6.5% and 8% for three consecutive days (7-day average); AND
  • Staffed ICU bed availability = 20% for three consecutive days (7-day average); AND
  • No sustained increase in COVID patients in hospital (7-day average for 7 of 10 days)

Moving from Tier 1 to Phase 4

  • Test positivity rate = 6.5% for three consecutive days (7-day average); AND
  • Staffed ICU bed availability = 20% for three consecutive days (7-day average); AND
  • No sustained increase in COVID patients in hospital (7-day average for 7 of 10 days)

Information about mitigation and resurgence metrics can be found on the IDPH website at http://www.dph.illinois.gov/regionmetrics.

By Margo Pelak

Margo Pelak is founder and managing editor of the Local Newsreader. She resides in Hawthorn Woods with her husband Dennis and their two wild beasts.

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