COVID-19 restrictions loosened across the suburbs
The state officially eased COVID-19 restrictions in DuPage, Kane, Lake and McHenry counties Wednesday, allowing residents and businesses to join the rest of the region in less strict COVID-19 limitations.
The four counties entered Phase 4 of the state's plan to control the spread of COVID-19.
It allows gatherings of up to 50 people, reopening of bowling alleys and indoor skating rinks, and expanded levels of play for youth sports like basketball.
Restaurants no longer have capacity limits in seated areas indoors but must place tables 6 feet apart.
Movie theaters can operate with up to 50 people or 50% capacity, whatever is less.
Masking in public and social distancing are still required.
The four counties were permitted to shift into Phase 4 after COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations decreased, the Illinois Department of Public Health announced Wednesday.
To upgrade to Phase 4, regions must have a positivity rate for COVID-19 tests of 6.5% for three consecutive days, hospital ICU beds must be at 20% availability for three consecutive days, and there must be no sustained increase in COVID-19 patients for seven out of 10 days.
Suburban Cook County moved into Phase 4 Tuesday, while Will and Kankakee counties did so on Monday.
But in Cook County, authorities are imposing stricter rules within Phase 4 to protect the public health, officials said. For instance, suburban Cook County restaurants are limited to 25 people indoors or 25% capacity, whichever is less, the Cook County Department of Health ordered Tuesday.
Chicago did the same recently.