Hinsdale, Region 8 move back to Tier 1

Restaurants now can offer limited indoor dining, Red Devils' winter sports to resume

Hinsdale and other towns in Region 8 (DuPage and Kane counties) moved to Tier 1 of COVID-19 mitigations Tuesday.

Eva Field, president and chief executive officer of the Hinsdale Chamber of Commerce, said she was happy to see the news, even if it is just a small step forward.

"My sights are on June, July, for all of our summer events," she said. "Any movement is positive movement."

The move means restaurants and bars that serve food can be open at 25 percent capacity or for 25 guests, whichever is lower. Patrons must be seated at tables placed 6 feet apart.

Those restrictions are still pretty challenging for smaller restaurants, like the ones in Hinsdale, Field said. But something is better than nothing.

"I think all in all, with having indoor dining again, it probably brings a little more business to everyone," she said.

The news was also welcomed by Heather Bereckis, superintendent of parks and recreation for the village, and her team.

"We're excited about it. We've been planning for it," she said.

In-person taekwondo and karate classes can resume at the Lodge at KLM, Bereckis said. The staff there are eager to welcome other users to the building as well. Tier 1 allows weddings and social events at 25 percent of overall room capacity, indoors and outdoors, or 25 guests, whichever is lower.

"We're hopeful we'll be able to do those smaller weddings and events," Bereckis said.

Like Field, she and her team are looking ahead to the summer, with the hope of welcoming more patrons back to the Hinsdale Community Pool.

"I honestly don't see us being in that 'everything's open' phase yet," Bereckis said. "I think we'll fall somewhere between where we were last year and slightly looser restrictions.

"We've, for the most part, figured out how to adapt to things," she added.

The same holds true at The Community House, where a winter staple - the Jodie Harrison Basketball League - can now take place. Executive Director Dan Janowick said he and his team are very excited about the move to Tier 1.

"We've been waiting to welcome back the community and get things moving again," he said.

Jodie Harrison practices started this week, and participants will see some changes from last year.

"It still comes in a pod system, so it's an adjusted program," he said.

He's working with Breakaway Basketball to provide some paid staff to help the volunteers in this new setup.

"There are some adjustments and enhancements that people are really going to like," he said, noting that there's still time to register for the program.

The move to Tier 1 also means open play can resume for indoor pickleball, and indoor fitness classes can operate with 25 or fewer participants.

The Lively Arts Dance Studio, the new resident dance company at The Community House, is starting classes as well, Janowick said.

"We'll continue to have all the programs distanced and masked as appropriate," he added, noting that basketball players do not need to remain 6 feet apart.

"Whether people sign up with The Community House or other places, we know that it's great for people's emotional and physical well-being to get out," Janowick said. "We hope people embrace that ability and go out and do things."

Red Devils ready to compete

Are you ready for some football?

The Illinois High School Association was slated to announce the new dates for the spring football season - and all winter, spring and summer sports - following a board meeting Wednesday after press time.

With Region 8's move to Tier 1, low-risk winter sports - boys swimming, boys and girls bowling, girls gymnastics, girls badminton, cheerleading and poms - can compete, with non-conference, out-of-state, tournaments and state series allowed.

High risk sports - boys and girls basketball - which had been limited to no-contact practices and training, are now allowed to practice and conduct intra-team scrimmages.

The winter season, set to begin Nov. 16, was put on hold Nov. 20 when Pritzker moved the entire state to Tier 3 mitigations.

Teams resumed practices last week, athletic director Dan Jones told The Hinsdalean, and are eligible to compete after seven days of practice.

Host schools can allow a maximum of 25 spectators at competitions, if desired.

Spring sports - football, boys soccer, girls volleyball, boys gymnastics and boys and girls water polo - originally were slated to compete from March 1 to May 1.

Contests for baseball, softball, boys and girls track and field, girls soccer, boys volleyball, boys and girls lacrosse, boys tennis and wrestling had been set for May 3 to June 26.

For more on the IHSA announcement, check The Hinsdalean's website at https://www.thehinsdalean.com. For the response from local restaurants to the move to Tier 1, read the Pulse feature in the Feb. 4 issue.

Author Bio

Author photo

Pamela Lannom is editor of The Hinsdalean