CHICAGO — Indoor dining is officially back for the vast majority of Illinois Tuesday, as health officials continue to roll back additional COVID-19 mitigation measures put in place while the state saw a surge in cases in November.
The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 3,667 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 and 87 additional deaths Tuesday. Both reported cases and deaths have continued to trend down since early January.
Earlier today, the IDPH announced regions including suburban DuPage, Kane, Lake and McHenry counties will now be under “Tier 1” of the state’s surge mitigation measures.
In addition to officially seeing a return of indoor dining with capacity restrictions, fitness classes can return to “Phase 4” guidelines while gatherings are allowed for 25 people or 25% of capacity. There’s a complete list of restrictions on the State of Illinois’ website.
Another positive indicator seen in Illinois is the state’s 7-day case positivity rate from January 19–25 reached 4.6%, approaching levels seen before a spike in cases began in October, while testing in the state has remained around 93,000 a day on average for the past two weeks.
Regions across the Chicago area will remain under “Tier 1” rules until they see their 7-day test positivity rates drop below 6.5% for three days in a row, at which point they can return to “Phase 4.” Most regions in the area reported rates from 7%-7.5% as of Sunday.
The Chicago Department of Public Health reported a 7-day average of 728 COVID-19 cases and 11 deaths, with a weekly test positivity rate of 7.2%.
While vaccination efforts in the city are continuing, health officials said it could take weeks for qualifying individuals to receive a dose.
“Please remember, even when you become eligible, it may take weeks to get an appointment. CDPH has been receiving a total of about 34,000 doses each week,” the CDPH tweeted Tuesday.
Outside the Chicago area, most regions are back under “Phase 4” of the state’s COVID-19 plan as vaccination efforts continue to expand. Only the Metro East region outside St. Louis remains under “Tier 2” of the resurgence mitigations.
Hy-Vee Pharmacies became the latest to team up with the State of Illinois to administer vaccine doses across the state, the IDPH announced Tuesday.
Officials advised people to visit the coronavirus.illinois.gov website to locate the closest private or government-run vaccine provider, as well as links to schedule an appointment, if they are available.
Nationally, President Joe Biden said he may raise his administration’s goal to 150 million doses administered in his first 100 days in office. Biden told reporters it is likely that 1 million or more shots a day will be delivered in about three weeks.