As COVID Rates Rise Illinois Further Restrictions Are Levied

The Illinois Gaming Board has reported that there are new limits to be levied on various counties across the state, affecting gaming and casino operations in multiple venues.

The ‘Restore Illinois’ recovery program, prompted by growing COVID-19 positivity levels, states that new intervention will be implemented if a region’s positive rating over three consecutive days reaches more than or equal to eight percent.

Such areas are Metro East, already facing more restrictive legislation, which includes the counties of Bond, Clinton, Madison, Monroe, Randolph, St. Clair and Washington, and Northeastern Illinois, including the counties of Kankakee and Will.

Both regions are said to have exceeded the requirements of the Illinois Department of Public Health that cause additional mitigations to counter COVID-19 resurgence and prevent uncontrollable spread

It will see a number of restrictions being imposed from 5 pm on August 26, 2020 on all permitted gaming operations at the Hollywood Casino Joliet and Harrah ‘s Casino Joliet.

It includes shortened operating hours between 8 am and 11 pm daily, decreased casino occupancy during the mitigation phase from 50 percent of fire code capability to 25 percent, suspended indoor food and beverage service with permitted outdoor service, curbside and carryout, as well as compulsory mask rule.

Likewise, all online gaming activities at all licensed Northeastern Illinois video gaming sites must face the same limitation on operating hours and food and beverage service.

In approved ‘Terminal Operator Pandemic Resumption Plans,’ current social distancing, sanitation and other mitigation policies and initiatives remain in place.

In addition, food and beverage service is suspended within the DraftKings at Casino Queen and Argosy Casino Alton starting at 5 pm on September 1 , 2020, with existing mitigation steps, similar to those outlined above, remaining in place after implementation began on August 18th.

During a 14-day monitoring period, the IDPH will track the rate of positivity in both regions to assess if mitigations can be relaxed, if additional restrictions are needed, or whether current mitigation should continue.

Unless the rate of positivity averages less than or equal to 6.5 percent over a 14-day period, the area can return as necessary to the original guidance or a modified version.

When the positivity rate is between 6.5 percent and eight percent on average, the latest mitigations will begin. Unless the average positive result after 14 days is greater than or equal to eight per cent, more stringent restrictions may be implemented to further reduce the virus spread.