PEORIA — By as early as Friday, Gov. J.B. Pritzker has indicated that several regions of the state, including the one with the Bloomington-Normal and Peoria areas in it, could have their COVID-19 restrictions loosened because of progress in slowing the spread of the virus.
Since early November, the entire state has been under Tier 3 restrictions that halted indoor dining, group gatherings and other activities because of a substantial rise in cases and a decline in the number of available hospital and ICU beds. Those rates have steadily improved, hence the expected move to Tier 2 for regions that include Peoria, Galesburg, Rockford, Springfield, Bloomington-Normal, Pontiac, Streator, Ottawa and LaSalle-Peru.
For residents yearning for a relaxation of rules that have limited outings, sports and dining, will Tier 2 be all that we want?
Gathering sizes are still reduced and inside service at bars and restaurants is still not allowed. And some sporting activities are allowed to resume under the plan that was released last summer by the state.
A formal announcement is expected on the move by the end of the week.
Here are some of the highlights:
The state's website doesn't list any changes that a drop from Tier 3 to Tier 2 would have on retail.
It's also not clear how quickly regions will be able to return to still-lighter restrictions that would permit limited indoor dining.
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