BOURBONNAIS – After 23 consecutive days of hospitalization increase in Illinois, Governor J.B. Pritzker has moved all of Illinois to TIER 3 mitigations beginning November 20th.
“Our hospitals are beginning to experience real strain and at the current infection rate, they will be overwhelmed. We must not let that happen. So whenever possible, we want you, we need you, to stay home,” said Gov. Pritzker Tuesday afternoon. “I’m hopeful by limiting our in-person interactions now, we will succeed at avoiding a stay-at-home order like what we had in the spring.”
No statewide curfew, similar to one issued in Ohio, has been planned in Illinois. The TIER 3 mitigation efforts are evaluated by the Illinois Department of Public Health and are not listed as a 30-day time limit to that of Executive Orders. The statewide mitigations could be lifted as early as the first week of December.
TIER 3 mitigation issues a further suspension of business, instituting remote work for all non-essential workers. The strictest of Illinois mitigation strategies has changed since summer accounting for new data. It asks non-essential retail services to limit capacity as well as salons and personal care services. It also suspends organized activities for both indoor and outdoor recreation.
“I’m already getting calls from hospitals that there is not a bed, right? We are trying to look at how far that goes.” Dr. Ezikie said. “We know even when we implement mitigation, first of all, implement mitigation, putting words on paper saying that we’re supposed to do this, we’re supposed to that. That does absolutely nothing to interrupt infection. It’s the individual people that have to adhere to those words on the paper that have to fulfill the words on paper will make a difference.”
As of Monday, 86 residents in Kankakee County were hospitalized for COVID-19.
“We have issues in Region 7,” IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said Tuesday, adding Region 1 and other places had recently reached out to the Illinois Department of Public Health for running out of beds or say that they have no beds available. Tuesday, Region 7 (Will-Kankakee) held the highest positivity in the state at 20.3%.
A Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is roughly a week or two away from receiving FDA approval should everything go well with current timelines set to have a vaccine received by officials in Illinois before the end of the year.
There are now over 1,000 more additional patients hospitalized in Illinois than during the Spring. In hospitals statewide, 1 out of every 4 patients now has COVID-19.
TIER 3 Restrictions include:
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
• 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
• 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
• 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