Two months after state officials halted indoor dining, parts of Illinois can now resume indoor service on site as Governor JB Pritzker and the health department eased restrictions. restrictions related to COVID-19. Regions 1, 2, 3, 5, and 6 of the state’s Novel Coronavirus Recovery Plan – have met state guidelines to allow indoor dining (at 25% capacity). This means that five of the 12 regions now qualify for indoor dining, affecting cities such as Carbondale, Springfield, Champagne and Galesburg.
Experts predict Chicago restaurants may soon join them, and on Monday the city officially expanded its vaccine distribution program to include older residents. Restaurants in Chicago — in Region 11 of the state plan — halted domestic service Oct. 30.
Dining rooms at restaurants in Chicago and suburban Cook County will remain closed, waiting for COVID-19 positivity rates to drop — that’s the number of tests that come back positive. Chicago’s seven-day moving average is 8.1%. (Update: Tuesday night, that number was 7.7%). The state requires a rate of 8% or less to move to Tier 1 where indoor dining would resume.
We are thrilled that Indoor Dinning & Gambling is open again for our area!!! Our Soups of the Day are Stuffed Green Pepper & Gumbolaya!!! Don’t forget that we are always closed until 4 p.m. on Mondays and Tuesdays!
Posted by Mashie’s Pub & Eatery on Monday, January 18, 2021
Over the weekend, Chicago moved to Tier 2 restrictions, allowing the return of group fitness classes and gatherings of 10 people. Casinos and museums can also reopen, which has angered many in the restaurant industry who believe eating a meal in a restaurant is safer than sitting at a Blackjack table or walking around. interior in an art gallery. After reaching Tier 1, the state would revert to its original COVID-19 response plan, which transitions from tiers to phases — a region could then transition to Restore Illinois Phase 4.
Phase 4 requires three consecutive days with a COVID-19 positivity rate below 6.5%, no “sustained increase” in hospitalizations and a drop in the number of patients occupying intensive care and staffed hospital beds . On Sunday, the Illinois Department of Public Health announced that it would update the way it counts hospitalizations to reflect increased staffing at hospitals. The Illinois Restaurant Association noted how this adjustment would cause several regions, including Chicago, to come into line with the numbers to allow for an increase in indoor dining.
Kevin Vaughan, a board member of the Illinois Restaurant Association — owner of the Vaughan Hospitality Group — shared his frustrations with how the state was assessing safety. Beyond the positivity rate, Pritzker and the health department are concerned about medical facilities that are overwhelmed with treating COVID-19 with no space to treat patients with other illnesses. There were reports over the weekend of patients being sent home from hospitals, including Rush Medical Center, because the facility did not have enough beds. Meanwhile, Vaughan also writes that he passed a testhoping that a negative result would help lower the positivity rate and trigger the return of indoor dining.
- Chicago enters next phase of Illinois’ COVID-19 vaccine program on Monday, as officials predict indoor dining could resume within days [Tribune]
- Illinois Region COVID-19 Resurgence Criteria [IDPH]
- Restore Illinois Guidelines [IDPH]