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Governor Pritzker holds news conference at Will County Health Department to Announce New COVID-19 Mitigation Efforts for Will and Kankakee Counties
Anastasia Tuskey
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Governor Pritzker holds news conference at Will County Health Department to Announce New COVID-19 Mitigation Efforts for Will and Kankakee Counties

Governor Pritzker held a press conference Tues. Aug. 25 at the Will County Health Department to announce the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) will be implementing new COVID-19 mitigation efforts in Region 7, the greater Will and Kankakee County areas, beginning Wednesday, August 26 after the region reached 8 percent positivity for three days.

For Region 7, mitigation measures taking effect August 26, 2020 include the following:

Bars
• No indoor service
• All outside bar service closes at 11:00pm
• All bar patrons should be seated at tables outside
• No ordering, seating, or congregating at bar (bar stools should be removed)
• Tables should be 6 feet apart
• No standing or congregating indoors or outdoors while waiting for a table or exiting
• No dancing or standing indoors
• Reservations required for each party
• No seating of multiple parties at one table

Restaurants
• No indoor dining or bar service
• All outdoor dining closes at 11:00pm
• Outside dining tables should be 6 feet apart
• No standing or congregating indoors or outdoors while waiting for a table or exiting
• Reservations required for each party
• No seating of multiple parties at one table

Meetings, Social Events, Gatherings
• Limit to lesser of 25 guests or 25% of overall room capacity
• No party buses
• Gaming and Casinos close at 11:00pm, are limited to 25 percent capacity, and follow mitigations for bars and restaurants, if applicable

These mitigations do not currently 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 metrics do not improve. View the new mitigations online here.

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) continues to monitor each region in the state for several key indicators to identify early, but significant increases of COVID-19 transmission in Illinois, potentially signifying resurgence. Indictors include an increase in COVID-19 cases with a simultaneous decrease in hospital capacity, or three consecutive days greater than or equal to 8% test positivity rate (7 day rolling). These indicators can be used to determine whether additional community mitigation interventions are needed for a region to prevent the further spread of COVID-19.

IDPH will track the positivity rate in both regions to determine if mitigations can be relaxed, if additional mitigations are required, or if current mitigations should remain in place. If the positivity rate averages less than or equal to 6.5 percent over a 14-day period, then Regions 4 and 7 will return to Phase 4 mitigations under the Restore Illinois Plan. If the positivity rate averages between 6.5 percent and 8 percent, the new mitigations will remain in place and unchanged. If the positivity rate averages greater than or equal to 8 percent after 14 days, more stringent mitigations will be applied to further reduce spread of the virus.

A full list of mitigation measures pertaining to some businesses and industries may be found on the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) website at www.dceocovid19resources.com/restore-illinois.

IDPH is awarding approximately $300 million in grants to local health departments and community-based organizations to conduct contact tracing, education, and support services. Every local health department is now utilizing an electronic contact tracing reporting system to collect consistent information to accurately capture the contact tracing efforts in Illinois and reduce further spread of the virus.
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