Trending

All of Illinois to Enter Tier 3 Mitigations This Week, Gov. Pritzker Announces – NBC Chicago

All of Illinois will enter Tier 3 coronavirus mitigations under the state’s plan as hospitalizations and cases continue to rise, Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced Tuesday.

Beginning Friday, new guidelines will be in place for retailers, gyms, hotels, restaurants, bars and more, according to state officials.

“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. So whenever possible, we need you to stay home,” Pritzker said in a statement. “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. Tier 3 may allow us to do both. Like in other states like Michigan and California and Washington, it’s our best effort to avoid a stay-at-home order and save lives.”

Pritzker said Illinois’ coronavirus growth is now exponential in every region of the state, statewide positivity rate is at record highs and hospitalizations have surpassed the spring peak.

Pritzker said Illinois’ coronavirus growth is now exponential in every region of the state, statewide positivity rate is at record highs and hospitalizations have surpassed the spring peak.

While the latest round of mitigations does not include a stay-at-home order, Pritzker warned that another order may be required.

Here’s a look at the guidance:

Bars and restaurants

• All bars and restaurants close at 11pm and may reopen no earlier than 6am the following day

• No indoor service

• All bar and restaurant patrons should be seated at tables outside

• No ordering, seating, or congregating at bar (bar stools should be removed)

• Tables should be 6 feet apart

• No standing or congregating outdoors while waiting for a table or exiting

• No dancing or standing indoors

• No tables exceeding 6 people

• Reservations required for each party

• No seating of multiple parties at one table

• Indoor gaming terminals must suspend operations

• Includes private clubs and country clubs

Health and fitness centers

• Operate at no more than 25% capacity

• No indoor group classes

• Face coverings must be worn at all times, including while engaged in individual exercise regardless of person or machine spacing

• Reservations required

• Locker room areas should be closed

Hotels

• Hotel room occupancy should be limited to registered guests only, with the maximum allowance being the number of individuals permissible per existing fire code for each applicable guest room

• Fitness centers should be closed, or operated only on a reservation model with capacity limited to 25% of the maximum occupancy for the room

• Grab and go food allowed

• Event and meeting space closed

Indoor recreation, theaters, cultural institutions (e.g. casinos, bowling, arcades, movie theaters, museums and zoos)

• Gaming and casinos close

• Indoor recreation centers, including theaters, performing arts centers and indoor museums and amusement centers, close

• Live streaming of performances encouraged with social distancing of performers and minimum operational staff

• Outdoor activities allowed at 25% capacity or less

• Outdoor group activities limited to 10 persons or less, participants/guests must wear face coverings at all times

• Reservations required for each guest for outdoor activities

Manufacturing

• Additional COVID training for all employees required even if previous training occurred

• Operators should coordinate with IDPH to implement testing protocols and contact tracing, upon request, consistent with available testing supplies

• All employees must wear face coverings at all times unless eating or drinking. Exemptions only for safety purposes.

• Only manufacturing staff and key personnel allowed in facilities. Non-production employees must work remotely. Non-essential staff and visitors are not permitted. Exemptions only for critical equipment repairs, supply deliveries and safety reasons (“critical visitors”).

• All critical visitors must have an Employee Health and Safety (EHS)-approved risk-assessment done in advance, including travel history, tracking, and temperature check prior to entrance.

• Implement additional workstation realignment when feasible

• Stagger and space shifts, and designate shift entrances and exits (when possible) to minimize interactions of employees across unique shift groupings

• Station sanitation required at beginning and ending of shifts

• Operators must suspend COVID-related incentive pay and promote staying home when sick or showing symptoms

• Implement temporary leave policies to accommodate workers who are sick
• Develop and implement safety protocols for employee travel vans to promote spacing, require face coverings, temperature checks, air circulation, and vehicle sanitization

Meetings, social events and gatherings (including weddings, potlucks, etc.)

• Limit in home gatherings to household members

• Meeting rooms, banquet centers, private party rooms, private clubs and country clubs may not host gatherings

• No party buses

• Funerals are limited to 10 family members of the decedents, not including staff, see IDPH guidance

Office

• All employees who can work remotely should work remotely

Organized group recreational activities (sports, indoor sports and activity facilities, etc.)

• Pause all indoor group sporting and recreational activities including youth and adult recreational sports, individual training may remain (with facility reservation)

• Includes park districts and travel leagues • Outdoor sports and recreation allowed

• Participant groups and practices outdoors limited to 10 persons or less with social distancing

• Face coverings required for all activities at all times

• Locker rooms should be closed

Personal care service

• Operate at lesser of 25 clients or 25% capacity

• Face coverings must be worn at all times by clients and service providers

• Suspend services where a face covering cannot be worn (e.g. facials, beard trims)

• Physical, occupational and massage therapy allowed as deemed necessary by a medical provider, but appointments must be spaced by a minimum of 15 minutes and facilities should take steps to sanitize and circulate clean air through service rooms before and after each service

• Virtual consultations recommended

Retail (including service counters)

• Operate at no more than 25% capacity, including general merchandise stores, “big box” stores that offer groceries and pharmacy, and convenience stores

• Grocery stores and pharmacies may operate at up to 50% capacity

• Encourage delivery or curbside pickup options wherever possible

• When in-store shopping is necessary, promote efficient trips and consistent circulation

According to the governor’s office, grocery stores across the state will remain open and available, child care facilities can continue to operate, and school districts and officials “should continue to follow the extensive guidance released by the Illinois State Board of Education in August to make decisions related to in-person and remote learning at the local level.”

Nov. 17, 2020: Dr. Ngozi Ezike detailed why the state must move to Tier 3 mitigations as coronavirus hospitalizations continue to rise and some hospitals reporting beds aren’t available for patients.

The state’s health department said officials will track metrics over the next 14 days to determine “if mitigations can be relaxed, if additional mitigations are required, or if current mitigations should remain in place.”

In order for a region to move back to Tier 2 mitigations, it must see a seven-day test positivity average below 12% for three consecutive days, more than 20% availability for intensive care units and hospital beds for three consecutive days, and a decline in seven-day hospitalization average for at least seven days.

“There is no denying that the state is headed in the wrong direction with increased cases, hospitalizations, and deaths,” IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said in a statement. “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.  Until a vaccine is widely available and people understand the importance of being vaccinated, we must continue to take preventive actions to stop the transmission of the virus.  Right now, our preventive actions are the best way to prevent new cases, hospitalizations, and deaths.”

All of Illinois had been under some sort of heightened mitigations prior to Tuesday’s announcement, but much of the state, with the exception of a few regions, was under Tier 1 mitigations.

The governor has hinted at the possibility of additional statewide restrictions in recent weeks. Last week, he warned that a statewide stay-at-home order may be issued in the coming days if metrics don’t turn around.

“The numbers don’t lie,” Pritzker said at the time. “If things don’t take a turn in the coming days, we will quickly reach the point when some form of a mandatory stay-at-home order is all that will be left. With every fiber of my being, I do not want us to get there, but right now that seems to be where we are heading.”

His warning came after state health officials issued guidance recommending that all residents “stay home as much as possible, leaving only for necessary and essential activities, such as work that must be performed outside the home, COVID-19 testing, visiting the pharmacy, and buying groceries.”

IDPH also recommended everyone work with employers to work from home unless necessary to be in the workplace and issued another warning that “attending even small gatherings that mix households or traveling to areas that are experiencing high rates of positivity, is not advised and is potentially dangerous.”

Stay-at-home advisories took effect Monday morning in Chicago and suburban Cook County as coronavirus metrics continue to rise.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot issued the city’s advisory alongside new restrictions on gathering sizes as she said the city has reached a “critical point” in the pandemic.

The governor’s Tuesday update comes after multiple warnings about hospitalizations in the state, which have consistently increased in recent days.

Illinois had previously reached its hospitalization peak roughly six months ago, but as the state’s latest wave lifts the number of average patients in Illinois facilities well above 5,000, the state is seeing record numbers.

As of Monday, Illinois was averaging more than 5,200 coronavirus patients in state hospitals, a number that is 400 more individuals than the spring high, and a 70 percent increase in the last two weeks alone, Pritzker said.

The state saw its hospitalization numbers jump Tuesday with 5,887 residents currently in hospitals due to coronavirus-like illnesses, an increase of more than 300 patients in the last 24 hours. Of those patients, 1,158 are currently in intensive care units, and 545 are on ventilators, also marking increases for both.

All three statistics are the highest metrics the state has seen in their respective categories since the first peak in COVID-19 cases earlier this year.

Nov. 16: Two Illinois medical professionals located in regions seeing coronavirus hospitalizations worse than during the spring peak speak during Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s daily coronavirus briefing.

“If we wait to take action until our hospitals are full, it will be too late, and countless patients – COVID patients as well as those with all the other ailments and injuries that bring people to the hospital – will die unnecessary deaths because there aren’t enough beds or people to staff them,” Pritzker said Monday. “So we are keeping in close touch with hospitals on an individual, system-level and region-level basis to monitor who is at risk of running out of staff or ICU beds in the next three weeks. But I want to be clear. We can’t create new staff for a hospital that’s filled to the brim. We can’t staff more ICU beds if a hospital’s personnel get sick outside of work because people in their communities refuse to wear a mask or follow any of the mitigation rules.”

On top of the current surge, Illinois hospitals are preparing for the potential that the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays could lead to increases in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations.

Several Illinois hospitals are now reporting more coronavirus patients than during the spring peak as medical professionals warn of trying months ahead, information provided by multiple hospitals reveals.

“Thanksgiving dinners have the potential to be super spreader events,” Dr. Robert Citronberg, executive medical director of infectious disease and prevention for the hospital system, said Monday. “It’s so critically important that we do not do that. The numbers are devastating right now. Our health care system cannot absorb doubling or tripling of those numbers. It might happen if we have many super spreader events arising out of Thanksgiving.”

Leave a Reply