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Indoor dining, bar service to shut down in Chicago Friday

There will be no indoor service at restaurants and bars in Chicago beginning Oct. 30
Credit: UPI
Illinois Governor J. B. Pritzker warns that additional restrictions designed to reduce the spread of COVID-19, will go into effect unless people begin to wear their masks and social distance from one another, during his daily press briefing, in Belleville, Illinois on Thursday, October 22, 2020. The number of cases statewide has increased over the last two weeks. On 10/22/2020, the Illinois Department of Public Health reported 4,342 new COVID-19 cases and 69 related deaths, ticking up to numbers similar to March. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI

CHICAGO — More restrictions related to COVID-19 in Chicago will go into effect on Friday.

Illinois Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Public Health announced COVID-19 resurgence mitigations for Region 11, the City of Chicago beginning at 12:01 a.m. Friday.

Additional mitigations are going into effect because of the increase in the area's positivity rate and sustained increase in COVID-19-related hospitalizations for more than 7 of the past 10 days. 

Region 11 is the second of the state's 11 regions to trigger additional mitigations due to positivity and hospitalization rates. 

“Region 11 is now averaging more than twice as many COVID-related hospital admissions per day as it was a month ago, with a positivity rate that has almost doubled since the beginning of October,” Gov Pritzker said“So, starting on Friday the City, too, will begin operating under our resurgence metrics, with a closure of indoor restaurant and bar service and a restrained gathering cap limit of 25 people. We can’t ignore what is happening around us – because without action, this could look worse than anything we saw in the spring. So please, no matter where you live, what your politics are, where you work or who you love: Illinois: mask up! And we’ll get through this together.”

“When the first several regions started implementing mitigation measures, it was because the 7-day rolling test positivity was above 8% for three consecutive days,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike. “What we are starting to see now, first with suburban Cook County, and now with Chicago, is that mitigation measures are needed because COVID-19 hospital admissions are going up alongside increases in test positivity. Based on current trends, we soon could face reduced hospital bed availability and overwhelming our health care systems. Please, for our health care workers, yourself, and your community, keep distance between you and others, wash your hands, and always wear a mask when around people.”

Mitigation measures taking effect Oct. 30 in Region 11 include:

Bars 

  • No indoor service
  • All outside bar service closes at 11 p.m.
  • All bar patrons should be seated at tables outside
  • No ordering, seating, or congregating at bar (bar stools should be removed)
  • Tables should be 6 feet apart
  • No standing or congregating indoors or outdoors while waiting for a table or exiting
  • No dancing or standing indoors
  • Reservations required for each party
  • No seating of multiple parties at one table

Restaurants 

  • No indoor dining or bar service
  • All outdoor dining closes at 11 p.m.
  • Outside dining tables should be 6 feet apart
  • No standing or congregating indoors or outdoors while waiting for a table or exiting
  • Reservations required for each party
  • No seating of multiple parties at one table

Meetings, social events, gatherings 

  • Limit to lesser of 25 guests or 25% of overall room capacity
  • No party buses
  • Gaming and casinos close at 11 p.m., are limited to 25% capacity, and follow mitigations for bars and restaurants, if applicable

These mitigations do not apply to schools or polling places.

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