Illinois imposes new Metro East COVID-19 rules after spike
CHICAGO (AP) — Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced fresh restrictions Sunday for southwestern Illinois after a resurgence of COVID-19 cases.
The rules, effective Tuesday, include limiting meetings and social events to the lesser of 25 people or 25% of overall room capacity and closing bars and casinos at 11 p.m.
The restrictions follow three straight days of a positive test rate of 8% or higher. Illinois’ current statewide average is 4.1%.
“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, I have made it clear that neither arbitrary dates on a calendar nor political pressure will dictate Illinois’ efforts to protect our people,” Pritzker said in a statement. “If the data shows we need to go backwards in our reopening, I won’t hesitate to tighten restrictions to protect our collective health.”
The restrictions apply to seven counties including Madison and St. Clair.
Illinois reported 1,562 new confirmed cases and 18 deaths Sunday. Overall, there’s been 206,081 confirmed cases and 7,744 deaths.
Also Sunday, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot again warned of rising coronavirus rates, saying young people are behind the recent uptick.
“We’ve just got to break through to young people that they are not immune to this virus,” she said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”
Lightfoot said there’s also been an increase among Latinos, which officials are addressing by working with community groups.