New restrictions in area IL counties start Thursday

New restrictions in area IL counties start Thursday

ILLINOIS (WFIE) - Governor Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) announced COVID-19 resurgence mitigations will be implemented in Region 5, in Southern Illinois, beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Thursday, October 22.

They say the region is seeing a seven-day average positivity rate of eight percent or above.

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.

Now, a variety of business owners are once again having to adjust.

The owner of Vick’s Bread and Brew in Mount Carmel tells 14 News he opened the business at the beginning of the year. He added the pandemic has made it hard to make any profit. Now, he and many other business owners around this region are getting ready for another round of tighter restrictions.

“I’m on the edge to shut it down forever,” owner Vikram Singh shared.

Those feelings are the reality for some business owners as Illinois state leaders begin to scale it back.

“We were hoping that now was the time, probably, people would start eating inside," Singh added. "Now, with this, the weather being the way it is, and these restrictions coming up, I don’t think we stand a chance.”

Starting Thursday, bars will not be allowed indoor service. Outside service must close at 11 p.m., which is the same time as gaming and casinos.

For restaurants, there will also be no indoor dining or bar service. And again, outdoor service is to shut down at 11 p.m. Reservations are required for both bars and restaurants.

“Instead of focusing on everybody, the high-risk people should be on a focus," Singh said. "And they should issue some kind of highly visible badges so if they’re out in public, everybody can publicly take a responsibility to treat them the way they should be treated: socially distanced, wear a mask around them, but everybody else should just move on and get this economy rolling.”

Mitigation measures taking effect October 22 in Region 5 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

These mitigations do not currently apply to schools.

In the coming days, IDPH will continue to track the positivity rate in Region 5 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% for three consecutive days, then Regions 5 will return to Phase 4 mitigations under the Restore Illinois Plan.

If the positivity rate averages greater than or equal to 8% after 14 days, more stringent mitigations can be applied to further reduce spread of the virus.

[Illinois Coronavirus Website]

Here are the total number of coronavirus cases and deaths reported in our Illinois counties:

  • Wayne County - 434 cases, 10 deaths
  • White County - 235 cases, 1 death
  • Wabash County - 205 cases, 5 deaths
  • Edwards County - 98 cases

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