Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced that the entire state of Illinois will be under Tier 3 mitigation restrictions starting Friday and a stay-at-home order could be coming if the virus continues to surge.
Pritzker said the mitigations will help “suppress the spread of the virus and prevent hospitals from becoming overrun.”
This latest round of mitigations aims to limit gatherings and encourages residents to stay home as much as possible, the governor’s office said.
“The mitigations carefully balance the paramount goal of saving lives while preserving the option for in-person learning for children and protecting as much of the economy as possible from the continued impacts of the virus,” the statement said.
The newest mitigations will restrict grocery stores to 50% capacity, health and fitness centers to 25% capacity, and retail and personal care stores to 25% capacity.
Gaming and casinos, cultural institutions, banquet halls, and indoor fitness classes will not be allowed to be open.
Officials also say to limit gatherings to your household members and offices should work remotely if possible.
“To stop this spread and preserve some semblance of the holidays, all of us need to do more than just wear our masks now – though masks are mandatory throughout the state. The simple fact is that COVID-19 is spreading so quickly and so widely, and our hospitals are beginning to experience real strain and at the current infection rate they will be overwhelmed,” Pritzker said.
“So whenever possible, we need you to stay home. I’m hopeful that by limiting our in-person interactions, we will succeed at avoiding a stay at home order like what we had in the spring – when the choice between saving lives and saving livelihoods was even more stark,” Pritzker added.
Pritzker said that if the mitigations are not adhered to and cases continue to rise in the weeks ahead then another stay-at-home order may be required.
“There is no denying that the state is headed in the wrong direction with increased cases, hospitalizations, and deaths,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike.
“There also is no denying that reducing the opportunities for the virus to spread can reverse our direction. This includes staying home as much as possible, wearing a mask and keeping social distance when we do have to go out, and not gathering with people outside our households,” Ezike said.
Click here to view the full order of mitigation requirements in Tier 3.