From the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Illinois has followed the science and listened to public health experts to keep people safe.
After bending the curve in the spring, Illinois achieved relatively low rates of community spread and hospitalizations in the summer. But amid a nationwide surge, every region of Illinois saw an increase in cases and hospitalizations in the fall, which triggered the regional tiered mitigations outlined in this plan.
As the surge became more severe here in Illinois and across the nation, Governor Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Public Health moved all 11 regions into Tier 3 mitigations, effective November 20, 2020. At the advice of public health experts, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, the mitigations remained in place over the holidays to prevent a “surge upon a surge.” With some regions now beginning to make progress, Governor Pritzker announced that any region that has met the metrics for a reduction of mitigations will be able to move out of Tier 3 to less restrictive tiers beginning January 15, 2021.
By operating with consistent and meaningful mitigations throughout the holiday season, Illinois has saved lives, brought down community risk, and set ourselves up to safely reduce these mitigations. This approach has allowed the state to be in its strongest position to combat the virus since the pandemic began, as the administration prepares to proceed with Phase 1B of Illinois’ vaccine distribution plan. Illinois also continues to build upon its nation-leading testing operation, surpassing more than 100,000 tests per day. This plan accounts for months of additional research as public health experts reach a greater scientific understanding of this virus. Ultimately, as conditions continue to improve, IDPH will re-classify regions to Tier 2, Tier 1, and back to Phase 4 as they meet the necessary metrics.
On Monday, January 18, Governor JB Pritzker moved Region 6 of Illinois, including Douglas County, to Tier 1 of the mitigation plan. He said, “With the state of Illinois launching multiple health care staffing contracts to increase hospital staffing, Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is adjusting its mitigation metrics to reflect the additional staff following conversations with hospital leaders and local public health departments across the state. The adjusted heath metrics leave only two of our 11 regions in our strictest tier and move eight regions into less strict mitigations effective immediately.This doesn’t mean we’ve won our battle against COVID-19, so please keep taking the proven precautions that keep us safe.
* Wear a mask in public
* Watch your distance from people outside of your household
* Wash your hands
* Don’t host or attend unnecessary gatherings
* Get vaccinated when it’s your turn.”