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Restaurants, bars can go back to indoor service as Sauk Valley advances to Tier 1

Region 1, which includes Whiteside, Lee and Ogle and Carroll counties, today met the metrics to reopen indoor dining effective immediately, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health’s COVID-19 pandemic mitigation plan.

Per the IDPH plan, Region 1 has met all the metrics to qualify for limited indoor dining according to the Restore Illinois plan announced Friday by Gov. JB Pritzker, and will move from Tier 2 to Tier 1.

That means bars and restaurants, banned from serving patrons inside since Oct. 3 when COVID-19 case resurgence forced the state to implement closures, can begin serving patrons inside at a limited capacity.

What are the new rules?

Indoor service is limited to 25% capacity or less, or 25 people per room. According to Tier 1 protocol, reservations are required and limited to 2 hours, no tables can exceed four people inside, and bars and restaurants must close at 11 p.m. and reopen no earlier than 6 a.m. the following day.

Region 1 on Monday met all three metrics for moving forward to Tier 1, including:

1. A test positivity rate below 8% for 3 consecutive days, as measured by the 7-day rolling average.

The region reported a 7.1% positivity rate, below 8% for the third day, according to state data, which is reported on a 3-day lag.

2. Greater than or equal to 20% available staffed ICU and medical/surgical hospital beds for 3 consecutive days, on a 3-day rolling average

As of Monday, Region 1 reports 29% of hospital beds are available in the region, and 26% of ICU beds are available.

3. No sustained increase in the number of people in the hospital with COVID-19 for 7 out of 10 days, on a 7-day average

As of Monday, Region 1 reports 8 out of 10 days with decreased hospitalizations.

Here’s how capacity for indoor dining can be expanded when a region makes it out of Tier 1 and back into Phase 4.

Those metrics are:

1. A test positivity rate less than or equal to 6.5% for 3 consecutive days, as measured by the 7-day rolling average

2. Greater than or equal to 20% available staffed ICU and medical/surgical hospital beds for 3 consecutive days, on a 3-day rolling average

3. 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

Regions moving to Tier 1 also will have capacity on all general gatherings opened to 25 people.








Kelsey Rettke

Kelsey Rettke

Kelsey Rettke is the editor of the Daily Chronicle, part of Shaw Media and DeKalb County's only daily newspaper devoted to local news, crime and courts, government, business, sports and community coverage. Kelsey also covers breaking news for Shaw Media Local News Network.