Governor Pritzker's weekly coronavirus press conference included some possibly good news. 

Currently, all of Illinois resides in Tier 3 of the state's mitigation requirements. We were set to return to Tier 2 back in December, but the Governor paused that rollback citing the concern of a possible surge due to holiday gatherings. Thankfully, however, Illinois did not see the extreme surge in positive cases like other states around the country.

WREX - "Illinois did not experience post-Thanksgiving uptick that plagued much of the rest of the country," Gov. Pritzker said. "And we're watching closely in this incubation period post-Christmas and New Year's. I'm cautiosly optimistic as there are some early signs that some regions have made real progress and won't reverse that progress."

According to the state's coronavirus webpage, a region must meet 3 requirements to go to a lower level of mitigation:

  • Less than 12% positivity rate for three (3) consecutive days
  • More than 20% ICU bed availability
  • Declining COVID hospitalizations for 7 out of the last 10 days

As of January 6th, here is what Region 1, Winnebago's region, is reporting.

  • 11 Consecutive days under 12% positivity rate (currently just above 10%)
  • ICU bed availability is about 30%
  • 8 Consecutive days of decline in patient hospitalizations

That means that Region 1 is absolutely eligible to reduce mitigations from Tier 3 to Tier 2.

Now, what does that mean?

Unfortunately, for restaurants and bars, not too much. Indoor dining is still prohibited. Just from looking at the differences between the Tier 3 and Tier 2 lists, it appears that the only real difference for restaurants and bars is that gambling terminals are allowed to reopen.

Tier 2 does, however, relax a lot of other restrictions, including allowing indoor recreation facilities, theaters, and all retail stores to be open.

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