Bars have opened in Will and Kankakee counties. Restaurants have opened for indoor dining as well. Illinois Governor and the Illinois Department of Public Health has announced that in the Restore Illinois plan, the Region 4 would be fully returned to Phase 4 in the program effective at 5 p.m. Friday.
Region 7 returning to Phase 4 means that bars and restaurants are allowed to open for indoor service. They are also permitted once again of gatherings of up to 50 people. Pritzker has praised the two counties’ residents. He issued a statement for them. The statement acknowledges that Will and Kankakee counties residents came together for the community.
The statement also says that the virus can’t be outrun but with doctor recommended mitigations, the spread can be reduced. Pritzker also called for the counties to keep going. Region 7 is the Metro East area across the Mississippi River from St. Louis. Pritzker had referred Region 7 in the statement as it faced stricter measures after the COVID-19 positivity rate had rose above 8 percent last month.
Will and Kankakee counties had faced new restrictions late last month. Due to the restrictions, the positivity rate had dropped below 6.5 percent and were returned to Phase 4. The counties had a positivity rate of 5.6 percent as of Friday. A month ago, Region 4 faced new restrictions, but were originally allowed indoor bar and restaurant service until 11 p.m., consistent with restrictions in St. Louis.
The positivity rate had crossed 10 percent in Region 4, which forced Pritzker to impose the same indoor ban on bars and restaurants as in Region 7. Progress was seen in Metro East but positivity rate was above 8 percent that meant indoor service remained closed. Will and Kankakee counties were also praised by Illinois Director of Public Health Dr. Ngozi Ezike.