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Region 5 meets state’s requirements to have COVID-19 mitigations loosened


(WSIL) -- In two days, Illinois' regions that meet the state's metrics and gain approval from public health officials can have COVID-19 mitigations relaxed.

As of Wednesday, Region 5, which covers southern Illinois, meets the metric requirements ahead of an official approval of getting mitigations relaxed.

Starting this Friday, Jan. 15, regions across the state that meet the state's requirements and get state approval, can move out of tier 3 mitigations.

In order for a region to move back to Tier 2 mitigations, a region must experience less than 12 percent test positivity rate for three consecutive days AND greater than 20 percent available intensive care unit (ICU) and hospital bed availability AND declining COVID hospitalizations in 7 out of the last 10 days.

The Illinois Department of Public Health will then classify a region under tier 2, tier 1 or Phase 4, depending on what their metrics say.

Here's a look at the numbers for Region 5:

Positivity Rate

The region's seven-day rolling positivity rate has declined for the fifth straight day and now sits at 8.5% as of Jan. 10, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Hospital Bed Availability

Region 5 now meets the requirements for this metric. For ICU beds, the region has 20.8% of beds available and for med/surg beds available, the region has 34.4% beds available.

Both of those numbers are as of Jan. 12.

COVID-19 Hospitalizations

Region 5 is also now meeting the requirements for hospitalizations. The region has now seen a decrease in hospitalizations for 8 of the past 10 days, meaning all three metrics by the state are met.

So what happens under tier 2 mitigations compared to tier 3 mitigations?

Gatherings expanded beyond household to 10 people or less; indoor sports and recreation activities resume with limits; casinos, entertainment venues and cultural institutions including museums can reopen with capacity limits.

We'll continue to track these numbers throughout the week.

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