Here's What Will Reopen With Limited Capacity in Chicago's Phase 3

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Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced Friday that certain industries can reopen with limited capacity when the city moves into the next phase of its reopening plan, likely beginning in early June.

Those industries include:

  • Childcare centers
  • In-home family childcare
  • Park facilities (non-Lakefront, does not include contact sports)
  • Libraries
  • Office-based jobs
  • Professional services
  • Real estate services
  • Hotels/lodging
  • Outdoor attractions (e.g. boating – not including The Playpen, non-Lakefront golf courses)
  • Retail stores (non-essential)
  • Personal services (e.g., hair/nail salons, barbershops, tattoo parlors)
  • Restaurants and coffee shops (outdoor dining)

Lightfoot said city officials will release details on the capacity of those businesses, as well as industry-specific guidelines, next week.

The capacity of those industries will be "incrementally" increased as time goes on "based on health criteria progression and adherence," Lightfoot's office said.

Lightfoot said some other industries and businesses may open later in phase three "if proper safety measures can be put in place," again promising more information at a later date. Those mentioned include:

  • Summer programs & youth activities (e.g., Park District, private summer camps)
  • Religious services
  • Gyms
  • The Lakefront
  • Limited-capacity outdoor performances
  • Museums

Schools, playgrounds, bars and lounges, and large venues like stadiums, indoor theaters, music venues and convention centers will remain closed, Lightfoot said.

Lightfoot on Thursday declined to give a "magic date" for when the city would enter phase three, even as the city sits within a region that is on track to reopen under state guidelines as early as May 29.

"The magic date is when we hit our metrics," she said.

On Wednesday, Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced changes to phase three of the state's plan, which includes allowing restaurants and bars to reopen for outdoor seating.

"I don't think we're going to be ready by May 29 but my hope is soon in June we're going to be ready," Lightfoot said of reopening outdoor dining during a press briefing Thursday, echoing comments from Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady, who said earlier this week that the city is eyeing June for its next phase of reopening.

"We're really thinking about June because if things keep going the way we are, we'll be in a good place," Arwady said.

Lightfoot also acknowledged that a timeline for reopening the city's lakefront has still not been determined.

"I'm very worried about a spike and a surge in cases when we do open back up," she said. "We're going to work to mitigate against that but having thousands of people along the lakefront will be the surest way to set us back."

Here's a look at the criteria Chicago must meet in order to enter phase three:

Declining Rate of New COVID-19 Cases

  • COVID-19 Cases Rate (over 14 days, based on a 7-day rolling average): Declining rate of new cases, based on incidence and/or percent positivity
  • Severe Outcome Rate (over 14 days, based on a 7-day rolling average): Stable or declining rates of cases resulting in hospitalization, ICU admission, and/or death
  • Syndromic Surveillance: Declining emergency department visits for influenza-like illness and/or COVID-like illness for 14 days

Adequate Hospital Capacity

  • Hospital Capacity Citywide (over 14 days, based on a 7-day rolling average): Hospital beds <1800 COVID patients, ICU beds <600 COVID patients, Ventilators <450 COVID patients

Adequate Testing Capacity

  • Testing Capacity: Ability to perform 4,500 tests per day
  • Testing Percent Positivity Rate: Community positivity rate <15%

Adequate Response Capacity

  • Case Investigation & Contact Tracing: Expanded system in place for congregate and community investigations and contact tracing
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