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Mitigations ordered for Springfield, Region 3 after surge in COVID-19 cases

Staff Writer
State Journal-Register
This illustration reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by the novel coronavirus, COVID-19.

The region covering Springfield and Sangamon County has been placed under mitigation measures because of surging cases of the coronavirus.

The Illinois Department of Public Health said Thursday that Region 3 has a positivity rate for the virus of 8% or more for three consecutive days which automatically triggers the mitigations.

Beginning Sunday, indoor service at bars and restaurants will be prohibited and those facilities will be required to close no later than 11 p.m.

Bar patrons may not congregate at outdoor bars and multiple parties are not allowed to sit at one table.

Restaurants must place outdoor tables six feet apart and reservations are required for service.

Crowds of any kind are limited to 25 people or less or no more than 25% of room capacity. Party buses are prohibited and gaming facilities and casinos must close by 11 p.m.

The addition of Region 3 means that by Sunday, nine of the state’s 11 regions will be under mitigation measures because of rising coronavirus cases.

In addition to Sangamon County, Region 3 includes Hancock, Adams, Pike, Calhoun, Jersey, Greene, Scott, Brown, Schuyler, Cass, Morgan, Macoupin, Montgomery, Christian, Logan, Menard and Mason counties.

The region had a positivity rate of 8.8% as of October 26, the most recent date statistics are available. The previous two days the positivity rate was 8% and 8.1%.

“Something has got to give and these mitigations aim to cut down on those high-risk activities until we bring down the positivity rate in an area once again,” Pritzker said in a statement.

Pritzker is scheduled to give an update on the coronavirus situation at 2:30 this afternoon.

If a region can reduce its positivity rate to 6.5% or less for three days, the restrictions will be removed.

On Thursday, IDPH said there were a daily record new 6,363 COVID-19 cases with another 56 deaths. The state has now seen 395,458 cases and 9,675 deaths.

The state reported 3,030 patients are hospitalized, with 643 of them in intensive care and 269 on ventilators. All of those numbers have been steadily increasing for days.

The statewide positivity rate is 6.9%. A week ago it stood at 5.6%.

This story will be updated.