CHICAGO (WREX) — Region's across the state may start seeing a reduction in COVID-19 mitigations soon.
On Wednesday, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker announced starting on Jan. 15, any region that has met the metrics for a reduction of mitigations will be able to move out of Tier 3 of the mitigations.
Region 1 has met the metrics to loosen restrictions since mid-December, but the governor announced in November that the mitigations would be in place through the holidays due to a possible surge.
However, the governor said the state didn't see the surge some expected.
"Illinois did not experience post-Thanksgiving uptick that plagued much of the rest of the country," Gov. Pritzker said. "And we're watching closely in this incubation period post-Christmas and New Year's. I'm cautiously optimistic as there are some early signs that some regions have made real progress and won't reverse that progress."
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.
In Region 1, the seven-day rolling positivity rate is at 10.5% as of Jan. 3. The region has been under 12% for 11 consecutive days, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.
The region continues to meet the metrics for hospital beds available (11 straight days over 20% availability) and a decrease of COVID-19 hospitalizations (8 days), according to the state.
Gov. Pritzker also said if a region qualifies to move to tier 1 mitigations or a regular return to Phase 4, that will be possible.