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City and county leaders prepare for looser COVID-19 restrictions

Published: Jan. 13, 2021 at 8:21 PM CST
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - As some COVID-19 metrics trend in the right direction, restaurants across the region could get the green light to open their doors.

“We have been advocating I would say for some time now for some reduction of the mitigation efforts,” Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara said.

Local leaders are ready to take a step in the right direction as region one could move from tier 3 COVID-19 restrictions to tier 2 but what the key question is, would that mean?

“Tier two currently includes the ability for limited capacity professional social group meetings in doors,” McNamara said.

In its current state McNamara says tier 2 does not feature indoor dining, which is why it is unclear on when it could return, or what it would look like.

“I do think to some extent our restaurants and bars are able to open responsibly and I think you’ll see us move towards that direction,” McNamara said.

“I always say it’s not about capacity it’s about your ability to maintain within your footprint of your restaurant six feet,” Winnebago County Public Health Administrator Dr. Sandra Martell said.

Dr. Martell says there is no timeline, or guarantee indoor dining will come back in tier 2 but adds the region seems to be improving.

“How can we do some of these activities in a socially responsible way that reduces the transmission,” Martell said.

“Until the Governor feels comfortable that everyone is safe to open responsibly under those COVID mitigations he’s not going to do it,” McNamara said.

McNamara says the region could move back to tier 2 COVID-19 restrictions as soon as this weekend.

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