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Tier-3 COVID-19 mitigation start today

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QUINCY, IL (WGEM) - Starting Friday, Nov. 20, new statewide COVID-19 mitigation begin in the state of Illinois.

If you plan to go the grocery store, you might have to wait in line. Grocery stores and pharmacies may only operate at up to 50% capacity.

Also, if you planned to do any Christmas shopping, retail and big box stores will have an additional impact.

Those stores can only operate at no more than 25% capacity, including general merchandise stores and stores that offer groceries and pharmacy, and convenience.

Restaurant and bars are going to see a difference in the time that they can be open. Owners can stay open for outdoor dining, pickup and delivery, but hours of operation are shorter.

All bars and restaurants close at 11 p.m. and may reopen no earlier than 6 a.m. the following day

Quincy resident Jacy Shelton said protecting small businesses is a concern.

“I have family who owns restaurants here in town and they’re hanging on by a fingernail right now, just deciding what they can and can’t do and how they can do it," said Shelton.

Also under the tier 3 mitigation, home gatherings are only supposed to include household members and you cannot meet at banquet centers, private party rooms or country clubs.

Residents voiced concern about the recommendation to only see immediate family members, especially with Thanksgiving on Thursday.

But some said this is an important step for the state.

“I think that we need to be cognoscente that our emergency responders and our friends that work in healthcare and our family that is working in healthcare would also like the opportunity to spend time with their family during the holiday. We just really need to work together to get this under control," Heather Keller-Giltner of Quincy said.

Now casinos, gaming locations should close, along with banquet halls, cultural centers and indoor sports and fitness activities.

Meanwhile, fitness centers and barbershops will have to cut down to 25 percent capacity.

There's no timeline for when the state will move back to Tier 2 mitigations.

IDPH will continue to track the positivity rates and hospital capacity metrics in regions over a 14-day monitoring period to determine if mitigations can be relaxed, if additional mitigations are required, or if current mitigation should remain in place.

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.

Follow the latest regional metrics at: https://dph.illinois.gov/regionmetrics.

For more information on guidance for businesses and frequently asked questions (FAQ) please visit the FAQ on DCEO's website.

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Isabella Rossi

Multimedia Journalist

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