Indoor seating at bars, restaurants to reopen

Will and Kankakee Counties return to Phase 4 on Sept. 18

Bars and restaurants will be able to reopen to indoor seating this weekend.

As of Friday, Sept. 18, the positivity rate for the novel coronavirus in Region 7, which includes Will and Kankakee Counties, is now at 5.6%. That marks the third day in a row where the positivity rate has been below 6.5%, meaning the region can now return to Phase 4 mitigations under the Restore Illinois Plan.

Additional mitigations went into place in Region 7 on Aug. 26, after the region hit a positivity rate above 8%. Those mitigations closed down indoor bars and restaurants, and reduced gatherings to 25% of venue capacity.

The region will return to Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois Plan as of 5 p.m. on Sept. 18.

“Today, Region 7 – Will and Kankakee Counties – will return to the standard Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois plan because residents chose to be all in for each other, for their small businesses, for their bars and restaurants, for their kids, for their neighbors,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “Let that be a testament to the power of a community that embraces doctor-recommended mitigations proven to reduce risk and slow the spread. We can’t outrun this virus, but with the tools we know to work – masks, distancing, handwashing, and respect for public health and each other – we can beat it back enough to keep our businesses open and our neighborhoods safer all at once. Don’t let up now, Region 7 – let’s keep this success going.”

“I want to commend and thank those in Region 7 for working together to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in their communities,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike. “Moving from a greater than 8% rolling positivity rate to below 6.5% in a matter of weeks demonstrates how concerted efforts to reduce exposure risks through limiting large gatherings, increased masking and other mitigation measures can truly make a difference. It also shows how quickly the positivity rate can move, in either direction. Because of the speed in which the rate can change, we must continue to wear our masks, watch our distance, and follow the guidance in Phase 4 of Restore Illinois. It will take all of us working together to get through this.”

Over the last few weeks, IDPH has worked closely with elected officials and community leaders in Region 7 to slow the spread of COVID-19 and bring down the number of positive cases in the area.

IDPH will continue working closely with the region to ensure residents continue to follow the mitigations that remain in place and wear face coverings to help prevent another spike in cases.

IDPH 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.  These indicators can be used to determine whether additional community mitigation interventions are needed to prevent the further spread of COVID-19.

The IDPH also announced Friday 2,120 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Illinois, including 20 additional confirmed deaths.

Currently, IDPH is reporting a total of 270,327 cases, including 8,411 deaths, in 102 counties in Illinois. The age of cases ranges from younger than one to older than 100 years. 

The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity for cases as a percent of total test from Sept. 11 to Sept. 17 is 3.6%.

Within the past 24 hours, laboratories have reported 61,918 specimens for a total of 4,982,856.  

As of Thursday night, 1,481 people in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19.  Of those, 329 patients were in the ICU and 149 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators.   

Following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, IDPH is now reporting separately both confirmed and probable cases and deaths on its website.  Reporting probable cases will help show the potential burden of COVID-19 illness and efficacy of population-based non-pharmaceutical interventions.  IDPH will update these data once a week.

All data are provisional and will change. In order to rapidly report COVID-19 information to the public, data are being reported in real-time. Information is constantly being entered into an electronic system and the number of cases and deaths can change as additional information is gathered.  Information for a death previously reported has changed, therefore, today’s numbers have been adjusted.  For health questions about COVID-19, call the hotline at 1-800-889-3931 or email