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Businesses second guessing benefits of potentially moving to Tier 2 COVID-19 mitigations in Illinois

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QUINCY, Ill. (WGEM) -- Some coronavirus mitigations in Illinois might end as early as Friday as long as numbers in Region 3 stay the same, we could see a move from Tier 3 mitigations to Tier 2.

But for some businesses owners the change doesn't mean much.

At Dunbelly in Quincy, they've tried to follow guidelines as much as they could, only using heated outdoor tents for dining.

They say at first they were excited for the return of dining indoors, but as they looked into it more, they realized that will have to wait a little longer.

"Coming back inside just means a whole new [a] whole new ballgame again," said bartender Ginny Mast.

Mast, bar manager at Dunbelly Bar and Distro, said getting customers back to her bar would mean more shifts and cash for her.

She said it was tough having that taken away when they realized that indoor dining doesn't re-open at Tier 2.

"A little bit of like a soul crushing moment to think we might finally get back to this normal," said Mast.

Brad Dunn, owner and chef at Dunbelly, said several business owners in town seem confused.

"I got really excited when I heard we were upgrading to the next tier. And so, you know, I told the staff hey you know we're going to be opening indoors, but then I did a little more research and realize that really it's the same thing for restaurants," said Dunn.

Dunn says while they've had some luck with outdoor tents It hasn't been a cakewalk, and at times like right now The set of rules have been confusing.

But he said they'll be sticking with it in an effort to move towards Tier 1 mitigations.

"It's tough for me as a business owner we're trying to do everything the right way. And follow all the guidelines but you know it's I think even this business owner is getting a little fatigued with the restrictions," aid Dunn.

Mast said it's something she wants to see as well.

"It's hard to convince people that it's actually warm out there when it's 30 degrees so to be able to get people back inside and let them do the normal thing again, I think we're all ready for it," said Mast.

Tier 3 mitigations began in all regions in Illinois on November 20th of 2020.

On the IDPH dashboard, they say for Tier 3 mitigation metrics to be relaxed (i.e., move to Tier 2), a region must experience less than 12% test positivity rate (7-day rolling average) for three consecutive days, AND greater than 20% percent available intensive care unit (ICU) and medical/surgical bed availability (3-day rolling average) for three consecutive days, AND decline in the number of COVID-19 patients in the hospital (7-day rolling average) in 7 out of the last 10 days.

Coronavirus Tier 2 Mitigations

Restore Illinois Mitigations Plan

Frank Healy

Multimedia Journalist at WGEM

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