As a public service, Shaw Media will provide open access to information related to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) emergency. Sign up for the newsletter here
State officials announced new restrictions on Will and Kankakee counties starting Wednesday to try to reverse the trend of an increasing COVID-19 test positivity rate for the region.
The South Suburban region has seen three days of a test positivity rate at or above 8%, which meets the threshold for new restrictions, according to a news release.
On Wednesday, the region’s positivity rate, as a seven-day rolling average, was 8%. The region then reached an 8.3% positivity rate on Thursday and Friday, according to IDPH data.
Gov. JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Public Health announced the specific restrictions for the region:
These mitigations do not apply to schools and will remain in effect over a 14-day period, after which more stringent measures will be implemented if the region’s COVID-19 metrics do not improve.
The region will need to get under 6.5% positivity over a 14-day period in order to return to the current Phase 4 guidelines under which much of the rest of the state is operating. If the positivity rate average is equal to or greater than 8% after 14 days, more restrictions will be applied.
The state has listed Will County at “warning level” for the past two weeks for its high level of new COVID-19 cases and, as of last Friday, for its increasing number of deaths from COVID-19.
The Metro East region – Madison, St. Clair, Monroe, Randolph, Clinton, Washington and Bond counties – was the first of the state’s health regions to move backward and face more restrictions.