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Pritzker announces return of COVID mitigation measures Restaurants, bars to be closed to in-person service starting Thursday

  • Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker speaks on new COVID-19 mitigation efforts for southern Illinois Monday afternoon at the Jackson County Health Department in Murphysboro.

    Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker speaks on new COVID-19 mitigation efforts for southern Illinois Monday afternoon at the Jackson County Health Department in Murphysboro.
    Geoff Ritter photo

 
Staff report
Posted on 10/20/2020, 12:01 AM

Restaurants and bars in southern Illinois will again be closed to indoor service beginning Thursday under new COVID mitigation measures announced Monday by Gov. J.B. Pritzker.

The measures, announced during a press conference at the Jackson County Health Department in Murphysboro, take effect beginning at 12:01 a.m. Oct. 22. Pritzker said Region 5 -- made up of Marion, Jefferson, Wayne, Edwards, Wabash, Perry, Jackson, Franklin, Williamson, Saline, Hamilton, White, Gallatin, Union, Johnson, Pope, Hardin, Alexander, Massac and Pulaski counties -- is seeing a seven-day rolling average test positivity rate of 8 percent or above for three consecutive days, which exceeds the threshold set for establishing mitigation measures under the Restore Illinois plan.

"Things have changed," Pritzker said. "Every region of this state has started to move in the wrong direction."

Pritzker also said the uptick in cases across the state has prompted him to return to daily news conferences to update the public on the pandemic.

"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."

Pritzker urged Illinoisans not to let up in the face of the virus. He encouraged residents to continue wearing masks, washing hands and practicing social distancing.

"Here in Illinois, it looks like a new wave is upon us," Pritzker said. "If you've gotten tired and let your guard down, now is the time to pick it back up."

Mitigation measures taking effect Oct. 22 in Region 5 include:

Bars

• No indoor service

• All outside bar service closes at 11 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 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 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. If the positivity rate averages less than or equal to 6.5 percent for three consecutive days, Region 5 will return to Phase 4 mitigations under the Restore Illinois Plan.

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