The Southern Illinois Region that includes Marion, Jefferson, and Wayne Counties has moved to Phase 4 of the COVID-19 Restore Illinois Plan further relaxing mitigations.
The move allows all businesses to be open with capacity limits. That includes bars and restaurants, cinema and theaters. All gatherings of 50 people or fewer are allowed. All outdoor recreation is also allowed.
The East Central Illinois Region that includes Fayette, Clay, and Effingham Counties moves to Tier One, which allows for 25-percent or 25 persons per room for indoor dining and a limit of 25 guests or 25-percent overall capacity for indoor and outdoor events and meetings.
The Metro-East Region remains in Tier 3 mitigation, with no indoor restaurant or bar service and cultural institutions remaining on pause. The Metro-East Region that includes Clinton and Washington County is one of only two regions in the state to remain at Tier 3.
Illinois Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike says the relaxation of the mitigation is possible due to the State of Illinois launching multiple health care staffing contracts to increase hospital staffing. She reports with the surge staffing program IDPH and hospital leaders feel confident that metrics can safely move away from utilizing medical/surgical bed limits. Ezike says the adjustment also recognizes the substantial progress the state has made since November 20th when Tier 3 mitigations were put in place.