Coronavirus: ​Lake County Moved To Less Restrictive Tier 2

Payton Potter
·2 min read

LAKE COUNTY, IL — Illinois's Coronavirus Region 9, the area including Lake County, has been placed in the less restrictive Tier 2 of the state's COVID-19 mitigation plan.

The new tier allows for gatherings of groups of up to 10 people and permits the re-opening of cultural institutions and gaming centers or casinos.

Gov. J. B. Pritzker announced the move in a Facebook post on Monday, saying it was made possible by a new surge staffing program that allows the state to increase hospital capacity. All told, eight regions moved into less restrictive tiers on Monday.

In Tier 2, Region 9 may allow restaurants to offer outdoor service for groups up to six people between 6 a.m. and 11 p.m. It also allows groups of up to 10 people to attend meetings, social events and gatherings such as weddings, funerals and potlucks.

Tier 2 also allows recreation and sporting facilities to host gatherings of up to 25 people, or 25 percent of room capacity, as long as individual groups are limited to 10 people and separated by impermeable barriers.

A full breakdown of what is and is not allowed in each tier can be viewed on the state health department's website.

In his post, the governor reminded residents that proven hygiene and prevention measures like hand-washing, mask-wearing and social distancing are still necessary to prevent the virus's impact from worsening.

"This doesn't mean we've won our battle against COVID-19, so please keep taking the proven precautions that keep us safe," he said.

As it stands, Regions 4 and 7 are now in Tier 3; Regions 8, 9, 10 and 11 are in Tier 2; Regions 1, 2 and 6 are in Tier 1; and Regions 3 and 5 are in Phase 4 of the original Restore Illinois plan.

Pritzker said if hospitalizations continue their current downward trajectory for two weeks, regions now in Tier 2 can move into Tier 1, which allows for restricted indoor dining.

For a region to move from Tier 2 to Tier 1, it must also record a positivity rate below 8 percent for three consecutive days, more than 20 percent of ICU beds must be available for three days and no sustained increase in patients hospitalized with COVID-19 patients.

No region can revert beyond Phase 4 restrictions until a coronavirus vaccine is widely distributed in Illinois.

Even still, a return to a stricter tier could be necessary if a sustained uptick in COVID-19 cases is seen.

A return to Tier 3 would result in the closure of casinos, gaming centers and cultural institutions and put a stop to indoor fitness classes.

Patch editor Jason Addy contributed to this report.

This article originally appeared on the Highland Park Patch