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Metro East to begin COVID mitigations on August 18

By Angela Simmons, Weekly Reporter

After three straight days above an eight percent positivity rate in conjunction with hospitalization increases, Governor JB Pritzker announced that Region 4, which encompasses  the Metro East, will be subject to additional mitigations beginning on Tuesday, August 18. The mitigations are per the Illinois Department of Public Health. 

“With the Metro East region now surpassing an eight percent positivity rate for three consecutive days – a trend I’ve made clear would trigger stricter mitigations – IDPH and I are announcing new efforts to slow the spread of covid-19. Throughout this pandemic, I have made it clear that neither arbitrary dates on a calendar nor political pressure will dictate Illinois’ efforts to protect our people,” Pritzker said. 

He continued “If the data shows we need to go backwards in our reopening, I won’t hesitate to tighten restrictions to protect our collective health. Working with local officials in the Metro East region and across the border in St. Louis, we are implementing stricter mitigations that account for the unique factors in this region. Dr. Ezike and I are imploring local leaders and residents alike: if you haven’t been taking this seriously yet, now is the time to start.”

The new mitigations are as follows, and can be viewed here:

IDPH will be tracking the region for the next 14 days, and they must fall to 6.5 percent or below to return to Phase 4. If the region continues to be higher after the 14 days, more stringent mitigations will be applied.