As positivity rate drops, senators ask governor to drop restrictions

Regionally, the COVID-19 positivity rate has started to drop some and State Senator Paul Schimpf again urged Governor JB Pritzker to allow the Metro East Region to reopen.

As of Sept. 18, both Randolph and Monroe Counties were no longer listed by Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) as under warning status. However, the five other counties in the Metro East Region (St. Clair, Washington, Bond, Madison and Clinton) were still under warning status.

Despite five of the counties still being under warning status, the region’s positivity rate has been going down. IDPH reported the region’s rate at 9.6 percent on Sept. 10, and since then it has steadily dropped, showing as 7.3 percent on Sept. 19.

The region needs to get to 6.5 percent or less for three days before the state will remove the additional restrictions (ban on indoor dining) that were imposed on Sept. 2.

Schimpf, along with State Senator Jason Plummer, on Sept. 22 issued a press release asking the governor to immediately remove the additional restrictions though, citing “significant issues with the state’s COVID-19 reporting and tracking methods are likely affecting the accuracy of the published positivity rate for the Metro East region.”

For more COVID-19 updates, please see this week’s print edition.