Illinois COVID Region 4, which covers the Riverbend and Metro East, will see a return to new health restrictions on Wednesday.  Illinois Governor JB Pritzker hinted over the weekend that due to a rise in the number of positive COVID-19 tests in the region, indoor service at bars and restaurants could be banned along with gatherings of over 25 people. The official announcement came this afternoon.

The numbers in Madison County have remained higher than 2 weeks ago but steady the last few days and on average below the state warning number of 8%.  However, surrounding counties are seeing much higher rates which could hurt the entire region.  It’s unclear how long the mitigations will last.  In September, when the restrictions were last in place, a number of businesses turned to outside seating under tents and with heaters, but a handful continued to serve customers indoors claiming their livelihood and the future of their employees was more important that the governor’s health orders.  Last week, the governor threatened to pull the liquor licenses of businesses that did not follow the state health orders and use the Illinois State Police to issue citations

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