COVID-19 | New COVID-19 mitigations to further restrict bars, restaurants

New COVID-19 mitigations to further restrict bars, restaurants

By CAYSON FRERICHS, News Reporter (Article)
By JENNA SKARLUPKA, News Reporter (Status Update Graphic)

Starting today, Region Two will operate under new mitigation measures to help slow down the spread of COVID-19. 

On Sunday, Nov. 1, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said that Region two would be put under new restrictions after the region had a positivity rate of 8% over three straight days. 

The increased restrictions for the region include:

Bars

  • All bars will close at 11 p.m. and may reopen no earlier than 6 a.m. the following day 
  • No indoor service
  • All bar patrons should be seated at tables outside 
  • No ordering, seating, or congregating at the bar (bar stools should be removed)  
  • Tables should be six feet apart 
  • No standing or congregating indoors or outdoors while waiting for a table or exiting 
  • No dancing or standing indoors 
  • Reservations required for each party 
  • No seating of multiple parties at one table

Restaurants

  • All restaurants close at 11 p.m. and may reopen no earlier than 6 a.m. the following day
  • No indoor dining or bar service
  • Tables should be six feet apart 
  • No standing or congregating indoors or outdoors while waiting for a table or exiting
  • Reservations required for each party
  • No seating of multiple parties at one table

Meetings, Social Events and Gatherings

  • Limit to lesser of 25 guests or 25% of overall room capacity both indoors and outdoors
  • No party buses
  • Gaming and Casinos close at 11 p.m., are limited to 25 percent capacity, and follow mitigations for bars and restaurants, if applicable

Area countries in Region Two include McDonough, Fulton and Warren counties. 

For more information regarding the mitigation measures, go to dph.illinois.gov/covid19. 

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WIU reports positive tests ‘administered by the university’

By CAYSON FRERICHS, News Reporter (Broadcast)
By JENNA SKARLUPKA, News Reporter (Article & Status Update Graphic)

MACOMB, Illinois (NEWS3) — With many numbers associated with the coronavirus, it can be difficult to understand what they all mean. 

Western Illinois University has its own coronavirus dashboard, where the university keeps track of its numbers differently from the McDonough County Health Department. Joe Roselieb, WIU’s Executive Director of Auxiliary Services and Risk Management, said the university’s count is only based on tests administered through the university and not tests on WIU students taken elsewhere.

“It’s a reflection of positive cases that are turned in and administered by the university,” Roselieb said.

WIU’s dashboard shows the total numbers of positive, negative, active and recovered COVID-19 cases for students, faculty and staff tested by the university. The MCHD dashboard shows the total numbers of positive, active and recovered COVID-19 cases from WIU’s dashboard and the rest of McDonough County, as well as those that resulted in deaths. This means that WIU students testing positive for COVID-19 who were not tested by the university only show up on the MCHD dashboard.

Roselieb said WIU does not take in the positive case data from the MCHD because they would only receive the number of positive cases, not negative ones.

“If we only received the positives but no negatives, it would skew the representation of that,” Roselieb said.

All cases in the county are reported to the health department from all the test sites in the area. The MCHD dashboard also shows total case breakdowns by gender, age and county communities, treating WIU as separate from Macomb. Stefanie Johnson, Deputy Public Information Officer for the MCHD, said results from residents who get tested outside of McDonough County are still reported to the health department.

“If we have a resident who goes to a hospital outside of McDonough County and gets a test there, that result still does come to us,” Johnson said.

Because of these differences in data collection, the WIU dashboard reports 189 and counting total positive cases on campus, while the MCHD dashboard reports 318 cases and counting on campus. Roselieb said people can continue to look at the university dashboard, but the health department’s dashboard paints a more complete picture.

“As we look at our campus, continue to look at that dashboard, but holistically, look at the county dashboard,” Roselieb said.

Surveillance testing will continue on the Macomb campus until Nov. 20. Anyone who is not selected for surveillance testing but still wants to take a test is asked to call the Beu Health Center at 309-298-1888 to schedule an appointment.