Pritzker moves Region 1 to Tier 2 COVID-19 restrictions

Gov.+JB+Pritzker+gives+an+update+on+the+COVID-19+pandemic+in+Illinois+during+a+press+conference+at+the+Illinois+State+Capitol+on+Jan.+11.

Justin L. Fowler | Associated Press

Gov. JB Pritzker gives an update on the COVID-19 pandemic in Illinois during a press conference at the Illinois State Capitol on Jan. 11.

Kierra Frazier, Managing Editor

DeKALB – Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced Friday that three regions will move from Tier 3 coronavirus restrictions to Tier 2 effective immediately. 

Regions 1, 2 and 5 will move from Tier 3 to Tier 2. The move to Tier 2 includes the return of group fitness classes and lower-risk youth and recreational sports and the reopening of museums, with a 25% capacity limit.

Additional guidelines for Tier 2 mitigations can be found here

Region 1 includes Boone, Carroll, DeKalb, Jo Daviess, Lee, Ogle, Stephenson, Whiteside and Winnebago counties.

Limited indoor dining for restaurants and bars won’t open back up until regions hit Tier 1, but no region is there yet. 

“Bars and restaurants have carried an extremely heavy burden throughout this public health crisis through no fault of their own,” Pritzker said. 

DeKalb has been placed under Tier 3 mitigation restrictions since Oct. 25. All of Illinois’ 11 regions have been under Tier 3 mitigations since Nov. 20, which suspended indoor dining across the state and closed down museums and casinos.

“Clearly, some progress has been made to combat this virus across our regions, but I want to stress that it’s incredibly important for Illinoisans to not let their guard down,” Pritzker said.

Under the state’s guidelines, a region moves to Tier 2 mitigations if it sees a test positivity rate less than 12% for three consecutive days and more than 20% of ICU and hospital beds are available, as well as declining COVID-19 hospitalizations in seven of the previous 10 days.

Phase 1B of vaccine distribution

Pritzker also announced Phase 1B of the state’s vaccination plan will begin on Jan. 25. 

Phase 1B includes residents who are 65 years and older and frontline essential workers, including first responders, education workers like teachers and support staff, childcare workers, grocery store employees, postal service workers and more.

“Patience will be required in these first weeks of Phase 1B because vaccine supplies are just extremely limited,” Pritzker said. 

The state will soon launch a website with information on where residents can get vaccinated.