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Illinois to Enter Tier 3 COVID-19 Mitigations

Effective November 20, 2020 at 12:01am, the state of Illinois will enter Tier 3 mitigations. The new mitigation requirements aim to combat the surge of COVID-19 across Illinois. In instances where Phase 4 guidance and Tier 3 Mitigations have different standards, the more restrictive Tier 3 Mitigations will apply.

School districts and local officials should follow extensive guidance released by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) in August and make decisions related to in-person and remote learning at the local level, based on the unique needs of their communities. Child care facilities may continue to operate subject to the Illinois Department for Children and Families (DCFS) guidelines. New mitigation requirements to combat the surge of COVID-19 include: Health and Fitness Centers

  • Operate at no more than 25% capacity

  • No indoor group classes

  • Face coverings must be worn at all times, including while engaged in individual exercise regardless of person or machine spacing

  • Reservations required

  • Locker room areas should be closed

Bars and Restaurants

  • All bars and restaurants close at 11pm and may reopen no earlier than 6am the following day

  • No indoor service

  • All bar and restaurant patrons should be seated at tables outside

  • No ordering, seating, or congregating at bar (bar stools should be removed)

  • Tables should be 6 feet apart

  • No standing or congregating outdoors while waiting for a table or exiting

  • No dancing or standing indoors

  • No tables exceeding 6 people

  • Reservations required for each party

  • No seating of multiple parties at one table

  • Indoor gaming terminals must suspend operations

  • Includes private clubs and country clubs

Retail (including service counters)

  • Operate at no more than 25% capacity, including general merchandise stores, "big box" stores that offer groceries and pharmacy, and convenience stores

  • Grocery stores and pharmacies may operate at up to 50% capacity

  • Encourage delivery or curbside pickup options wherever possible

  • When in-store shopping is necessary, promote efficient trips and consistent circulation

Personal Care Service

  • Operate at lesser of 25 clients or 25% capacity

  • Face coverings must be worn at all times by clients and service providers

  • Suspend services where a face covering cannot be worn (e.g. facials, beard trims)

  • Physical, occupational, and massage therapy allowed as deemed necessary by a medical provider, but appointments must be spaced by a minimum of 15 minutes and facilities should take steps to sanitize and circulate clean air through service rooms before and after each service

  • Virtual consultations recommended

Meetings, social events, and gatherings (including weddings, potlucks, etc.)

  • Limit in-home gatherings to household members

  • Meeting rooms, banquet centers, private party rooms, private clubs and country clubs may not host gatherings

  • No party buses

  • Funerals are limited to 10 family members of the decedents, not including staff, see IDPH guidance


  • All employees who can work remotely should work remotely

Organized group recreational activities (sports, indoor sports and activity facilities, etc.)

  • Pause all indoor group sporting and recreational activities including youth and adult recreational sports, individual training may remain (with facility reservation)

  • Includes park districts and travel leagues

  • Outdoor sports and recreation allowed

  • Participant groups and practices outdoors limited to 10 persons or less with social distancing

  • Face coverings required for all activities at all times

  • Locker rooms should be closed

Indoor recreation, theaters, cultural Institutions (e.g. casinos, bowling, arcades, movie theaters, museums, and zoos)

  • Gaming and casinos close

  • Indoor recreation centers, including theaters, performing arts centers and indoor museums and amusement centers close

  • Live streaming of performances encouraged with social distancing of performers and minimum operational staff

  • Outdoor activities allowed at 25% capacity or less

  • Outdoor group activities limited to 10 persons or less, participants/guests must wear face coverings at all times

  • Reservations required for each guest for outdoor activities


  • Hotel room occupancy should be limited to registered guests only, with the maximum allowance being the number of individuals permissible per existing fire code for each applicable guest room

  • Fitness centers should be closed, or operated only on a reservation model, with capacity limited to 25% of the maximum occupancy for the room.

  • Grab and go food allowed

  • Event and meeting space closed


  • Additional COVID training for all employees required even if previous training occurred

  • Operators should coordinate with IDPH to implement testing protocols and contact tracing, upon request, consistent with available testing supplies

  • All employees must wear face coverings at all times unless eating or drinking. Exemptions only for safety purposes.

  • Only manufacturing staff and key personnel allowed in facilities. Non-production employees must work remotely. Non-essential staff and visitors are not permitted. Exemptions only for critical equipment repairs, supply deliveries and safety reasons (“critical visitors”).

  • All critical visitors must have an Employee Health and Safety (EHS)-approved risk-assessment done in advance, including travel history, tracking, and temperature check prior to entrance.

  • Implement additional workstation realignment when feasible

  • Stagger and space shifts, and designate shift entrances and exits (when possible) to minimize interactions of employees across unique shift groupings

  • Station sanitation required at beginning and ending of shifts

  • Operators must suspend covid-related incentive pay and promote staying home when sick or showing symptoms

  • Implement temporary leave policies to accommodate workers who are sick

  • Develop and implement safety protocols for employee travel vans to promote spacing, require face coverings, temperature checks, air circulation, and vehicle sanitization

IDPH will continue to track the positivity rates and hospital capacity metrics in regions over a 14-day monitoring period to determine if mitigations can be relaxed, if additional mitigations are required, or if current mitigation should remain in place. In order for a region to move back to Tier 2 mitigations, a region must experience less than 12 percent test positivity rate for three consecutive days AND greater than 20 percent available intensive care unit (ICU) and hospital bed availability AND declining COVID hospitalizations in 7 out of the last 10 days.

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