Governor J.B. Pritzker announced Thursday at a news conference that Region 1 will begin even tougher restrictions Sunday following a rise in positivity rates.
Starting Sunday, the number of people allowed for social gatherings will go from 25 down to 10, and tables at restaurants and bars will be limited to six people instead of 10 for outdoor dining. The restrictions will stay in place until at least Nov. 14.
“At the end of the day, this is bigger than you,” Pritzker said. “This is about all of us and the communities we call home. Wear your mask. Watch your distance. Wash your hands. And get your flu shot. We have to take care of each other,” said Gov. Pritzker.
Region 1 includes Boone, Carroll, DeKalb, Jo Daviess, Lee, Ogle, Stephenson, Whiteside and Winnebago counties.
As of Oct. 19, the region’s seven-day rolling positivity rate for the virus was up to 11.9%, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health. In order for restrictions to be lifted, the seven-day rolling positivity rate must drop below 6.5%.
As of Thursday, over 360,000 people in Illinois have tested positive for COVID-19 and over 9,300 have died, according to the IDPH.
Pritzker said bars and restaurants are top locations where spreading takes place.
“It is very serious right now, folks, and if we need to close restaurants and bars or take away their liquor license, take away their gaming licenses, we will do that,” Pritzker said. “Because we are now headed into a peak that is beyond, potentially, March and April.”