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COVID-19 mitigation efforts take effect in southern Illinois Thursday

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UPDATED 3:05 p.m. MONDAY, OCTOBER 19, 2020

Gov. JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) say COVID-19 resurgence mitigations will take effect in Region 5, Southern Illinois, beginning at 12:01 a.m. Thursday, October 22.

Region 5 includes Marion, Jefferson, Wayne, Edwards, Wabash, Perry, Jackson, Franklin, Williamson, Saline, Hamilton, White, Gallatin, Union, Johnson, Pope, Hardin, Alexander, Massac, and Pulaski counties.

According to the governor, each of Illinois' 11 regions have recently seen an increase in COVID-19.

“While we continue to see a safer pandemic landscape than back in the Spring – in terms of positivity, hospital capacity, and community spread – and safer than much of the Midwest, things have changed,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “Every region of the state has started to move in the wrong direction. Cases, positivity rates, hospitalizations and deaths are rising statewide. Experts have predicted for months that the country could see a resurgence of the virus as temperatures get colder and more people spend more time inside. Here in Illinois, it looks like a new wave could be upon us. To be clear, ours will not be one of the states that takes no action in response to rising cases, hospitalizations and deaths. We will follow public health recommendations to bring our numbers down, save our economy and let more of our kids go to school.”

“We are seeing an alarming trend as the number of COVID-19 cases increases, but we are not helpless to change the trajectory,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike. “Your actions matter. If you wear your mask and keep you distance from others, you help stop the spread of the virus. Your actions also matter if you don’t wear your mask and you are around numerous other people not wearing masks at a large event. You become part of the reason the virus spreads. Help us reduce the spread of the virus so restaurants can stay open, so kids can go to schools, and so loved ones can visit family in long-term care facilities.”

“Southern Illinoisans are known for rising above challenges,” said Dr. Craig Davis, System Director of Hospitalist Medicine at Southern Illinois Healthcare. “I can recall countless examples of powerful community when we set aside differences and work together. Today, we’re in a healthcare crisis that continues to escalate; we’re losing family, friends and neighbors. My appeal to each of you is simple. Wear a mask. Pause large gatherings. Practice social distancing. Wash your hands frequently. Please consider these short-term sacrifices for the greater good. The enemy is disease, not each other.”

Mitigation measures taking effect October 22 in Southern Illinois include:

Bars

• No indoor service

• All outside bar service closes at 11:00 p.m.

• 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 11:00 p.m.

• 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 percent of overall room capacity

• No party buses

• Gaming and Casinos close at 11:00 p.m., are limited to 25 percent capacity, and follow mitigations for bars and restaurants, if applicable

The mitigations do not currently apply to schools.

State officials say if the positivity rate averages less than or equal to 6.5% for three consecutive days, then Regions 5 will return to Phase 4 mitigations under the Restore Illinois Plan.

If the positivity rate averages between 6.5% and 8%, the new mitigations will remain in place.

If the positivity rate averages greater than or equal to 8% after 14 days, more stringent mitigations may be introduced.

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

UPDATED 2:45 p.m. MONDAY, OCTOBER 19, 2020

Gov. JB Pritzker has announced COVID-19 mitigation efforts in southern Illinois.

Gov. Pritzker says those restrictions go into effect Thursday and include no indoor dining or bar service and restrictions on group sizes.

According to the governor, COVID-19 cases are increasing across the state.

"Every region of the state has started to move in the wrong direction," said Gov. Pritzker.

ORIGINAL STORY

MURPHYSBORO (WSIL) -- Governor JB Pritzker will be in Murphysboro Monday afternoon to give an update on COVID-19 in Illinois.

Gov. Pritzker is joining health experts for a 2:30 p.m. briefing at the Jackson County Health Department.

The governor's visit comes after southern Illinois, Region 5, saw its seven-day COVID-19 positivity rate climb above 8% late last week.

According to the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), three consecutive days greater than or equal to 8% test positivity rate will trigger additional mitigation measures.

The IDPH website shows Region 5's seven-day rolling average was above 8% Wednesday, Oct. 14-Friday, Oct. 16.

On Monday, state health officials reported 3,113 new cases of COVID-19, including 22 additional deaths in Illinois. That brings the state's total to 347,161 cases, including 3,113 deaths.

Currently, 34 Illinois counties are at IDPH's "warning level" for COVID-19. Nine of those counties are in southern Illinois.

News 3 WSIL will be streaming the governor's briefing live on air, online and on our Facebook page.

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