CHAMPAIGN COUNTY, Ill. (WICA) — It hasn’t started yet, but another part of central Illinois is dangerously close to stricter COVID-19 guidelines. The area we’re talking about is Region 6. That goes from Decatur on the west to Danville in the east and from Watseka in the north to Olney in the south.
A region has to hit an 8 percent positivity rate for three days in a row to be under mitigation. Region 6 has hit 8 percent or above for two days now. Public Health District Administrator Julie Pryde said they haven’t been contacted yet about the possibility of mitigation, but that doesn’t mean it’s not coming.
Champaign County has about a 7 percent positivity rate. That’s without the University of Illinois’ numbers included. Pryde said the biggest contributor right now are family gatherings. She fears those will only get worse heading into the holiday season.
“That’s really the hardest part of this. It’s much easier to wear a mask into a store and stay away from people in a store. It’s a lot harder to stay away from the people that you love and want to hug and the people that you miss. It is a lot harder,” said Pryde.
So what could mitigation look like? We’d be entering what’s called tier one. That means no indoor service at restaurants and bars. Bars would close by 11 p.m. and not open until 6 a.m. There’s also a limit of six people per table.
Pryde added that something they’re really keeping their eye on right now is an increase in cases specifically in older people. They are also in the higher-risk category for COVID-19.
There are three levels of mitigation: tiers 1, 2, and 3. Most of the state’s regions are under tier 1 right now, but region 1 – the Chicago area – is under tier 2.