Health region 9, which includes Lake and McHenry counties, is set to move to Tier 1 mitigation, which allows indoor dining, on Tuesday, state health officials announced.
The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) made the announcement Monday morning and said that region 8, which includes Kane and DuPage counties, is also on track for Tier 1 mitigation on Tuesday.
The IDPH reported 2,944 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, the least amount of new cases in a day since October. The department also reported 49 additional deaths.
Lake and McHenry counties need to see one more day of the test positivity rate under the 8% threshold before the region is moved to Tier 1, according to state data.
Under Tier 1, bars and restaurants can have indoor service limited to the lesser of 25% capacity or 25 persons per room. Tables exceeding four people are not allowed indoors and indoor service is not allowed if the facility does not serve food.
Meetings and gatherings, excluding in-person school or sports, are limited to the lesser of 25 guests or 25% capacity indoors and outdoors under Tier 1 guidelines.
IDPH recently launched multiple health care staffing contracts to increase hospital staffing throughout Illinois.
“With this surge staffing program, IDPH and hospital leaders feel confident that metrics can safely move away from utilizing medical/surgical bed limits to move across mitigation tiers, allowing more regions to advance,” the department said.
The program leverages the state’s larger contracting power to engage multiple staffing vendors and create access to a talent pool at a greater scale than any individual hospital could achieve, the department said in the statement.
This resolves issues where hospitals have rooms available but lack the personnel to staff them.
“Hospital leaders have made clear the importance of staffing in their continued response to this pandemic and conveyed that staffing contracts will be extraordinarily valuable in their ability to meet the needs of their communities,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced Monday afternoon that the state had launched a COVID-19 vaccination website at coronavirus.illinois.gov.
The site will host vaccination locations, appointment information, frequent questions and answers, and other updates.
The state is moving into its next vaccination phase, 1B, which includes residents 65 and older along with frontline essential workers. This phase has approximately 3.2 million Illinois residents.