coronavirus illinois

These Are Chicago's Guidelines for Businesses to Reopen in Phase 3

Thought an exact date has not been released, the city is expected to enter phase three sometime in early June, the mayor said

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Chicago won't be transitioning into Phase Three of its reopening plan along with the rest of Illinois, but the city on Tuesday released detailed guidelines for businesses as the city prepares to ease restrictions in early June.

The industry-specific guidelines include plans to help childcare centers, non-lakefront parks, libraries, offices, hotels, outdoor attractions retailers and more open their doors when the city does enter its next stage.

(Read the full guidelines here)

“Our transition to Phase Three of our reopening framework represents a major step for Chicago and our journey to a safe and successful recovery from the unprecedented COVID-19 crisis,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot said in a statement.

The city provided additional information for each specific group of businesses that are expected to be able to reopen in Phase Three, and we have a breakdown of some of the key guidelines for each industry, as well as links to more information that the city provided in the form of PDF documents.

Childcare Centers and Family Childcare

  • Staff are required to frequently disinfect facilities, including toys and other objects.
  • Children must be grouped into “stable cohorts” with specifically assigned teachers.
  • Doors and windows should remain open when possible to increase ventilation.
  • Health screenings required for children, and parents and employees must wear masks.

(The full guidelines can be found here)

Gyms and Health Clubs

(The full guidelines can be found here)

Healthcare Facilities

  • Patients and staff are required to wear facial coverings at all times.

(The full guidelines can be found here)

Hotels and Lodging

  • Daily housekeeping will be done by request only while guests are staying in rooms.
  • Hotel restaurants will remain closed and will only provide pick-up and room service dining options.
  • Mobile check-in and check-out is encouraged.
  • High touch areas, like elevators, must be frequently cleaned.

(The full guidelines can be found here)

Manufacturing, Construction and Warehousing

  • Employees must complete health screening before entering buildings.
  • Sanitation and handwashing stations must be readily available.
  • Work stations should be separated by 6-feet distancing and impermeable barriers, where possible.
  • All employees are expected to wear appropriate PPE.

(The full guidelines can be found here)

Non-Essential Retail

  • Impermeable barriers may be used to maintain separation between employees and shoppers.
  • Sanitizing products must be available for ready use by customers and staff.
  • Customers and employees are required to wear face coverings.

(The full guidelines can be found here)

Non-Lakefront Parks

  • Parks can be open, with the exception of those along the lakefront.
  • Outdoor activities limited to non-contact sports.
  • Playgrounds remain temporarily closed.

(The full guidelines can be found here)

Office-Based Jobs, Professional Services and Real Estate Services

  • Small, high-traffic common areas must be closed.
  • Sanitation stations must be available for employees.
  • Work spaces should be separated by impermeable barriers, where possible.
  • Individuals must wear face-coverings in common areas, or where social distancing isn’t possible.

(The full guidelines can be found here)

Personal Services

  • This category includes hair and nail salons, barbershops, and tattoo parlors.
  • These services should be limited to 25 percent capacity in this phase.

(The full guidelines can be found here)

Restaurants and Coffee Shops

  • Contactless pickup and payment encouraged.
  • Outdoor dining is permitted with proper social distancing guidelines.
  • Employees are required to wear face coverings, while guests must wear coverings when they are not seated at tables.

(The full guidelines can be found here)

Lightfoot has previously said she cannot give an exact date for when Chicago will enter phase three because "we just don't know yet."

"I don't think it's mid-June, I think it's early June," she said last week, adding that she sees it happening before June 10 and sometime in the "single digits."

Lightfoot noted that while the city is on track to reach that mark, "we will remain in phase two if those numbers take a different turn."

"A lot depends on the steps you take between now and then," Lightfoot said at the time.

Cook County continues to have the highest number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S., but health officials expressed optimism Tuesday in Illinois' data, which appears to show a downward trend that could mark a decline from a peak.

With the state of Illinois set to move forward into Phase Three of the “Restore Illinois” plan this week, Gov. J.B. Pritzker says that despite reopening more portions of the state’s economy, coronavirus case numbers and hospitalizations are continuing to trend in the right direction.

Once Chicago does transition, strict physical distancing and masks will still be required, officials said.

Here are the guidelines residents must still follow:

  • When in the presence of others, keeping 6 feet of physical distance apart and wear a face covering
  • Non-business, social gatherings limited to <10 persons
  • Phased, limited public amenities begin to open
  • Stay at home if you feel ill or have come into contact with someone with COVID-19
  • Continue to physically distance from vulnerable populations
  • Get tested if you have symptoms

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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