St. Clair County authorities pushing for Illinois to remove them from Metro East COVID region

Coronavirus

MILLSTADT, Ill. – St. Clair County officials and businesses are hoping the state of Illinois will soon relax COVID-19 restrictions as positivity rates in the Metro East continue dropping.

On Monday, the St. Clair County Health Department announced the county’s 7-day rolling average for positive COVID-19 cases hit 6.1 percent and has been below 8 percent for the entire month of Sept. The state says a region must maintain a rate below 8 percent before restrictions can be lifted. However, St. Clair County is part of a seven-county region that the state looks at for positivity numbers.

“We are team players. We understand the regional concept that we’re all stronger together but when other parts of the region are not complying with what the governor asks, then I think there needs to be an exception that’s made for our county that is complying,” said St. Clair County Board Chairman Mark Kern.

Meanwhile, restaurants have been making big changes to keep the customers coming in.

“They pick these counties out and put them in a ball at random. They should be able to take St. Clair County out of the ball and put us by ourselves. Why can’t they?” said Dennis Keck, owner of Smokin’ K’s Barbecue.

St. Clair County officials have sent a letter to the Illinois Department of Public Health asking that the county be exempt from the restrictions placed on the entire region.

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