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Monday, March 1, 2021

Will, Kankakee to see relaxed dining restrictions, moves to 25% capacity today

BRADLEY – Beginning immediately, Region 7 will see relaxed restrictions applied to indoor dining.

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) made the announcement in change of restrictions to Region 6 and 7 Thursday. While Region 6 moves into Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois plan, Region 7 moves to Tier 1.

Under Tier 1 status, Kankakee and Will counties will be allowed dining capacity of 25% at both indoors and outdoors venues, with no more than a 2-hour maximum duration for parties of four people. Retail stores in the Region are allowed to move to 50% capacity while indoor group fitness classes can resume.

“This does not mean that we can let our guard down,” said IDPH Director Ngozi Ezike Thursday. “We must continue to practice actions to protect ourselves from the virus — wear our masks, avoid large gatherings, and get the vaccine when it is our turn.”

The move affects over 20 counties in Illinois, reaching as far south as Champaign.

With more than one strain of COVID-19 now found in Illinois, the IDPH Director added now is more important than every to practice masking in public.

“This is particularly critical as new variants circulate, which early studys show spread much more rapidly.” Ezike said.

Region 7 could move into Phase 4 of Restore Illinois if test positivity remains less than 6.5% for three concecutive days, ICU bed avaliblity remains under 20% and no sustained increase in COVID patients is found in the region on a seven-day average.

As of Thursday, Region 6 had met those metrics and joined Regions 3 and 5 in Phase 4. Region 7 saw a slight increase in positivity Thursday, moving closer to the 8.0% warning threshold set by IPDH, now at 7.6%.

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