The Illinois Department of Public Health said Will and Kankakee counties are “on target” to see relaxed restrictions starting Thursday.
The IDPH said in a news release Wednesday the South Suburban Region is on track to move out of the strictest mitigations, known as Tier 3, and into Tier 1 as it’s continued to see a declining COVID-19 test positivity rate and adequate hospital bed capacity.
The state also announced Monday it was tweaking the requirement for regions to see sustained decreases in COVID-19 patients in hospitals to allow for a relaxing of mitigations sooner. The state is launching an effort to increase hospital staffing.
Steve Brandy, a spokesman for the Will County Health Department, said the region has been “inching closer” to relaxed mitigations for weeks. The rolling average test positivity rate stood at 7.4% on Sunday, well below the 12% threshold for lesser restrictions.
“We’re hoping for good news,” Brandy said.
The region also had adequate hospital bed availability, about 75%, as of Tuesday, according to the IDPH.
Most notably, Tier 1 would allow for limited indoor dining and bar service at the lesser of 25 guests or 25% capacity per room, according to the IDPH rules.
The South Suburban Region is one of only two regions out of 11 which are still operating under the strictest mitigations.
Tier 1 would also mean greater capacities at retail shops and health clubs, and the potential restart of organized recreational activities like youth sports.
For more on COVID-19-related information, visit dph.illinois.gov/covid19.