UPDATED: New COVID-19 restrictions to take effect in Will, Kankakee Counties Wednesday

UPDATED: New COVID-19 restrictions to take effect in Will, Kankakee Counties Wednesday

The rules do not apply to schools

Capitol News Illinois

SPRINGFIELD — Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker and the state Department of Public Health on Monday announced increased restrictions for residents of Will and Kankakee Counties as the COVID-19 positivity rate there remained at or above 8 percent for three consecutive days.

Bars, restaurants and gatherings in those counties, demarcated as Region 7 in the Restore Illinois Plan, are facing similar rules to those implemented over the past five months by state officials trying to limit the spread of COVID-19.

The new restrictions, which will take effect Wednesday, are stricter than ones being enforced in Region 4, or the Metro East area of Illinois along the Missouri border. They do not apply to schools.

Establishments serving food and alcohol cannot serve customers indoors, and all outdoor consumption must end at 11 p.m. Patrons must be served at tables placed six feet apart, in observation of social distancing guidelines. Reservations will be required.

Employees cannot allow customers to assemble inside or outside while waiting for a table, alcoholic beverages or to leave. Bars must remove stools to discourage patrons from congregating.

Other rules include limiting social events to 25 people, or one quarter of a space’s capacity. Party buses will be banned and casinos and other gaming establishments must close at 11 p.m.

According to a news release, the Department of Public Health “continues to monitor each region in the state for several key indicators to identify early, but significant increases of COVID-19 transmission in Illinois, potentially signifying resurgence.” Those include an increasing COVID-19 case count while hospital capacity concurrently drops.

If, over a two-week period, the virus positivity rate drops to 6.5 percent or below, both regions 4 and 7 can reopen to the degree allowed under the Restore Illinois Plan.

A full list of restrictions and efforts to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus can be found at

In Region 4 last week, the governor announced mitigation efforts requiring bars and restaurants to close at 11 p.m. and limiting seating in those establishments to six people per table. Bars are being instructed to seat people only at tables and to remove bar stools to prevent gathering around the bar.

While some of the restrictions were the same in both regions, indoor service for patrons was not yet prohibited under the rules in Region 4.

In a news release, the governor’s office said Region 4 “will have until Sept. 2 at their current mitigation level before the state must move to impose further mitigation in the region.” 

As of Aug. 21, the positivity rate in the Metro East remained at 9.4 percent, while Southern Illinois dipped to 6.9 percent. East-central Illinois remained the lowest with a 1.6 percent positivity rate.

The other regions ranged from 4.9 percent in northwest Illinois to 6.7 percent in suburban Cook County. Chicago’s positivity rate was 5.2 percent.

Statewide, the seven-day rolling positivity rate fell to 4.2 percent as of Monday, a decrease of two-tenths of a percentage point since Thursday. From Saturday through Monday, there was an average of 49,090 test results reported per day, yielding 1,953 positive results. The positivity rate for the three-day period was 4 percent and Monday’s positivity rate was 4.5 percent.

There were 31 COVID-19-related deaths over the three-day period, bringing the total casualty count since the pandemic began to 7,888.

At the end of Sunday, there were 1,529 persons hospitalized with COVID-19, including 334 in intensive care beds and 141 on ventilators.


Capitol News Illinois is a nonprofit, nonpartisan news service covering state government and distributed to more than 400 newspapers statewide. It is funded primarily by the Illinois Press Foundation and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation.

Jerry Nowicki

Jerry NowickiJerry Nowicki

Jerry has more than five years of experience in and around state government and nearly 10 years of experience in news. He grew up in south suburban Evergreen Park and received a bachelor’s degree from Illinois State University and a master’s degree online from Purdue University.

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