Region 5 moves into Tier 1; limited indoor dining to be allowed

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A rendering of coronavirus via the CDC.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA) — The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) announced on Saturday Region 5, southern Illinois (Alexander, Edwards, Franklin, Gallatin, Hamilton, Hardin, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Marion, Massac, Perry, Pope, Pulaski, Saline, Union, Wabash, Wayne, White, Williamson), has met the metrics to move out of Tier 2 mitigations and into Tier 1 mitigations, which will allow limited indoor dining.

“I am excited to see southern Illinois move into Tier 1 mitigations and I encourage them to continue to practice personal protective actions so they can get back to Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois Plan,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike in a news release.  “This should serve as motivation for other regions.  However, I do want to caution that moving back through tiers does not mean abandoning your mask or attending large events and gatherings.  We must continue to watch our distance and wear our masks and get vaccinated when it we become eligible.”

Here’s a breakdown of what will be allowed under Tier 1 rules:

Tier 1 requires a region to meet the following metrics:

  • A test positivity rate below 8% for three consecutive days, as measured by the 7-day rolling average; AND
  • Greater than or equal to 20% available staffed ICU and medical/surgical hospital beds for three consecutive days, on a 3-day rolling average; AND
  • No sustained increase in the number of people in the hospital with COVID-19 for seven out of 10 days, on a 7-day average.

Beginning January 16, 2021, staffed ICU and medical/surgical hospital beds will be based on a 7-day rolling average to help stabilize the numbers and reduce the variations associated with natural hospital admission trends.

Regional COVID-19 metrics can be found on the IDPH website at http://www.dph.illinois.gov/regionmetrics.

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