CHICAGO — People heading south of the city will see more coronavirus restrictions starting Wednesday.
Restaurants, bars and gatherings in Kankakee and Will counties are facing the new restrictions as the state tries to get the coronavirus outbreak there under control.
Starting Wednesday, restaurants and bars in Kankakee and Will counties can’t offer indoor service and must seat all patrons outside, according to the Governor’s Office. Tables should be 6 feet apart, reservations are required for parties and people aren’t allowed to gather inside or outside while waiting for a table or while leaving.
Bar service and dining must end at 11 p.m.
Party buses are not allowed and gatherings should be no more than 25 people or 25 percent of a room’s capacity, whichever is less.
If the area’s coronavirus outlook doesn’t improve within 14 days, more stringent restrictions will be imposed.
The restrictions don’t apply to Chicago or the rest of Cook County, which have their outbreaks under better control. According to the state, Chicago’s positivity rate is at about 5.2 percent. Cook County excluding Chicago has a positivity rate of about 6.7 percent.
Still, the number of daily new cases has been steadily, if slowly, growing in Chicago for weeks.
Should the city’s positivity rate rise to 8 percent for three days in a row — or if it hits other metrics outlined by the state — then Chicago could face more restrictions. Those restrictions will vary depending on where outbreaks are occurring, meaning Chicago wouldn’t necessarily get the same closures and rules as Will and Kankakee counties.
City officials have said outbreaks here are mostly being seen among households, rather than in workplaces or restaurants.
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