DeKalb moves into Tier 1, allows for limited indoor dining


Patrick Murphy

A pick-up order table stands near the door in Cast Iron Coffee in June.

By Kierra Frazier

DeKALB – Following nearly four months of no indoor dining, Region 1 has met requirements to move into Tier 1, according to a Monday Illinois Department of Public Health news release. 

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

Under Tier 1 mitigations, bars and restaurants can offer limited indoor service to operate at 25% capacity per room or 25 people per room, and meetings and social gatherings are limited to 25 people.

DeKalb has been placed under Tier 3 mitigation restrictions since October. 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.

“We are pleased to see most of our regions move out of Tier 3 mitigations with this change, and it is critical that we maintain this progress,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike in the news release. “With new variants of COVID-19 spreading, it is more important than ever to follow the public health guidance that keeps people safe – wear and mask and watch your distance.”

On Friday, Regions 1, 2 and 5 moved from Tier 3 to Tier 2, which allowed for the return of group fitness classes and lower-risk youth and recreational sports and the reopening of museums, with a 25% capacity limit.

Capacity for indoor dining can be expanded when a region makes it out of Tier 1 and back into Phase 4.

To move into Phase 4, a region must have a test positivity rate less than or equal to 6.5% for three consecutive days, greater than or equal to 20% available staffed ICU and medical/surgical hospital beds for three consecutive days and have no sustained increase in the number of people in the hospital with COVID-19 for seven out of 10 days, according to the Illinois Resurgence Plan.