METRO EAST ( – Region 4, which includes many counties in the Metro East, has been approved to have COVID-19 restrictions eased starting Friday.

on Friday, Gov. J.B. Pritzker said the region's positivity rate had reached a new low of 5.8%, down from its height of 10.5% on August 27. Region 4 includes Bond, Clinton, Madison, Monroe, Randolph, St. Clair and Washington counties. 

[READ: St. Clair County mayors send letters to Gov. Pritzker begging him to ease restrictions]

In a video Friday morning, officials with St. Clair County EMA said the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and the governor’s office applauded the region’s ability to keep positivity rates below 6.5%. In addition, they said Region 4 has been approved for less strict measures and to return to Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois Plan

“We are excited to see that after weeks of mitigation measures and sacrifice, Region 4 has reduced its positivity rate and can return to Phase 4,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike. “It takes communities working together to reduce the spread of the virus and lower the positivity rate. I want to thank Region 4 for its hard work to decrease the risk for all of Illinois.”

The loosened restrictions, which will go into effect at 5 p.m., allow for indoor dining and drinking for parties of up to 10 people and social events and meetings to have a capacity of the lesser of 50 people or 50% of room capacity.

News 4 will continue to follow this developing story throughout the day online and on air.  

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