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Tier 3 mitigations announced statewide

Tuesday, Nov 17, 2020

…Adding… A PowerPoint is here.

* Press release…

With a new wave of COVID-19 surging across the state of Illinois, the Midwest and the nation, Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) today announced additional COVID-19 resurgence mitigations will take effect in every region across the state in an attempt to slow the spread of the virus. Tier 3 mitigations build on the Resurgence Mitigation Plan released in July to suppress the spread of the virus and prevent hospitals from becoming overrun. This latest round of mitigations aims to limit gatherings and encourages residents to stay home as much as possible and follow proper safety measures when out in public. The mitigations carefully balance the paramount goal of saving lives while preserving the option for in-person learning for children and protecting as much of the economy as possible from the continued impacts of the virus.

The Tier 3 resurgence mitigations will take effect statewide at 12:01 am on Friday, November 20, 2020.

“To stop this spread and preserve some semblance of the holidays, all of us need to do more than just wear our masks now – though masks are mandatory throughout the state. The simple fact is that COVID-19 is spreading so quickly and so widely, and our hospitals are beginning to experience real strain and at the current infection rate they will be overwhelmed. So whenever possible, we need you to stay home,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “I’m hopeful that by limiting our in-person interactions, we will succeed at avoiding a stay at home order like what we had in the spring – when the choice between saving lives and saving livelihoods was even more stark. Tier 3 may allow us to do both. Like in other states like Michigan and California and Washington, it’s our best effort to avoid a stay-at-home order and save lives.”

The first tiers of the Resurgence Mitigation Plan initially suppressed the virus and protected the progress Illinois made towards bending the curve during the Spring, while allowing each of the state’s eleven regions to progress through the phases based on local metrics. But with COVID-19 spread now exponential in every region of the state, our statewide positivity rate at record highs and hospitalizations already surpassing our Spring peak, an additional tier of more stringent, statewide mitigations is required to combat the surge and preserve hospital capacity.

“There is no denying that the state is headed in the wrong direction with increased cases, hospitalizations, and deaths,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike. “There also is no denying that reducing the opportunities for the virus to spread can reverse our direction. This includes staying home as much as possible, wearing a mask and keeping social distance when we do have to go out, and not gathering with people outside our households. Until a vaccine is widely available and people understand the importance of being vaccinated, we must continue to take preventive actions to stop the transmission of the virus. Right now, our preventive actions are the best way to prevent new cases, hospitalizations, and deaths.”

While this latest round of mitigations does not include a stay at home order, if the mitigations are not adhered to and cases continue to rise in the weeks ahead, another order may be required. For all regions, additional mitigation measures taking effect Friday, November 20th include guidance for the following settings and industries:


    Personal Car Services
    Health and Fitness Centers
    Bars and Restaurants
    Meetings and Social Events
    Organized Group Recreational Activities
    Indoor Recreation, Theater, Cultural Institutions

As they have since the start of COVID-19, grocery stores across the state will remain open and available. Child care facilities may continue to operate subject to guidelines from the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. School districts and officials should continue to follow the extensive guidance released by the Illinois State Board of Education in August to make decisions related to in-person and remote learning at the local level.

To prevent the further spread of COVID-19, Illinois residents are urged to stay home as much as possible and celebrate upcoming holidays with members of their household. Illinoisans over the age of two years are required to wear a face covering when out in public and social distancing is not easily achievable. Anyone exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 or who may have been in contact with someone exhibiting symptoms should seek out testing and quarantine at home; anyone who has tested positive for the virus should isolate at home as directed by their physician or local health department.

IDPH will continue to track the positivity rates and hospital capacity metrics in regions over a 14-day monitoring periods 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 7-day 12 percent test positivity average for three consecutive days AND greater than 20 percent available intensive care unit (ICU) and hospital bed availability for three consecutive days AND declining 7-day COVID hospitalizations average in 7 out of the last 10 days. Follow the latest regional metrics at:

In response to the rising test positivity rate statewide, the administration continues to strengthen its nation-leading testing operation. Last week, the state reported a record high of 114,370 tests within a 24-hour period, now averaging more than 97,800 tests per day. Although the administration continues to build upon this progress, the state’s rate of growth in positivity is outpacing the growth in testing. It is critical to get tested before developing symptoms, as testing remains free to all Illinois residents and readily available throughout the state. To find a testing center near you, please visit DPH.Illinois.Gov/Testing.

More in a minute.

…Adding… Here are the mitigations. 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

* 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

* Hotels…

• 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

* 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

* Manufacturing…

• 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

* 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

* Offices…

• 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

* 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
• 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

* 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

* More…

The provisions above apply to industries/sectors with Restore Illinois Phase 4 guidance or other mitigations. Other functions (i.e. infrastructure, governments, logistics and warehousing, etc.) that previously have not been subject to specific guidance may continue regular operations but are encouraged to voluntarily take proactive steps to support new mitigation strategies wherever possible. In these areas, customer serving functions should be limited to 25% capacity, aligned with retail mitigations, and maximize work from home wherever possible.

IDPH will continue to track the positivity rates and hospital capacity metrics in regions over 14-day monitoring periods 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% 7-day average test positivity rate for three consecutive days AND greater than 20% available intensive care unit (ICU) and hospital bed availability for three consecutive days AND declining 7-day average COVID hospitalizations for 7 out of the last 10 days.


- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - don the legend - Tuesday, Nov 17, 20 @ 2:52 pm:

    ==Personal Car Services==

    I assume it’s personal “care” services but it still made me chuckle.

  2. - ktkat1 - Tuesday, Nov 17, 20 @ 2:53 pm:

    Offices… those who can should… if it isn’t mandated there are businesses which won’t.

  3. - Chatham Resident - Tuesday, Nov 17, 20 @ 2:53 pm:

    Anyone know how this will affect State Offices and State Employees that are currently back in the office?

  4. - Six Degrees of Separation - Tuesday, Nov 17, 20 @ 2:54 pm:

    I predict a booming business in outdoor tents and heaters. Several nearby bars and restaurants already invested.

  5. - Liandro - Tuesday, Nov 17, 20 @ 2:54 pm:

    All the dynamics of Thanksgiving week (including blackout Wednesday) present unique dangers. It’s going to be a critical week.

  6. - Ok - Tuesday, Nov 17, 20 @ 2:58 pm:

    No dancing of any kind

  7. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Nov 17, 20 @ 2:58 pm:

    ==I predict a booming business in outdoor tents and heaters.==

    That’s the next fight coming. Tents with walls aren’t “outdoors.”

  8. - NoDumbQuestions - Tuesday, Nov 17, 20 @ 2:59 pm:

    Is there a time frame for how long these regulations will be in place?

  9. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Nov 17, 20 @ 3:00 pm:

    ==Anyone know how this will affect State Offices and State Employees that are currently back in the office?==

    From what I understand it really won’t. Those that can remote work should already been doing it, at least on some sort of rotating schedule. For those that don’t have the capacity to remote work you’re going to be at work. The state isn’t sending eveyone home again to get paid to do nothing like they did in the Spring.

  10. - Justin - Tuesday, Nov 17, 20 @ 3:03 pm:

    How are religious services (eg. worship) impacted?

  11. - TheInvisibleMan - Tuesday, Nov 17, 20 @ 3:08 pm:

    A bit of a digression, but…

    Whichever rural county has the most fatalities should have a statue of Devore installed in their town center with a nice plaque of what he has done during this time.

    You know. To remember history.

  12. - NoDumbQuestions - Tuesday, Nov 17, 20 @ 3:08 pm:

    Never mind, asked before I refreshed the page.

  13. - Skeptic - Tuesday, Nov 17, 20 @ 3:10 pm:

    Tents with walls aren’t “outdoors.” There are religious sects that believe a string tied between two trees constitutes “indoors”, so why not?

    To the post: I’d say this makes the whole basketball flare up rather moot.

  14. - Dotnonymous - Tuesday, Nov 17, 20 @ 3:12 pm:

    I think it’s all swell as long as I am not personally inconvenienced in any way?…or I will immediately suss out any exception or create any ruse in opposition?

  15. - SouthSide Markie - Tuesday, Nov 17, 20 @ 3:13 pm:

    Numerous restaurants are openly defying the current restrictions because the State and many local governments are not enforcing them. Why should those restaurants act any differently now unless the State finds a way to enforce these new restrictions?

  16. - bungalowhistorians - Tuesday, Nov 17, 20 @ 3:19 pm:

    ===get paid to do nothing like they did in the spring.===
    That is an overly broad generalization of State employees. Many who were sent home in the spring have been working very hard at home and just as productively as they would have had they been in an office. At one agency, employees were sent home with no equipment. If they didn’t have it, i.e. computers, they were expected to buy it and none of it is reimbursable by the state. How many in the private sector are expected to just donate to the cause? There are many good hard working State employees who actually like what they do. It does nothing for morale to paint all State employees with such a large negative brush and it is making it harder to recruit qualified people to come and work for the State.

  17. - master shake - Tuesday, Nov 17, 20 @ 3:20 pm:

    Pritzker is doing all he can to avoid going back a phase. Phase 4 was what allowed bars/restaurants to open up, but also schools/daycares for non essential workers. We really need to go back to phase 3 instead of making progressively smaller cuts to the service industry while allowing the school reservoir of cases to remain circulating.

  18. - Six Degrees of Separation - Tuesday, Nov 17, 20 @ 3:20 pm:

    ===Tents with walls aren’t “outdoors.”===

    And it’s not gambling if the casino floats on water. People are always looking for a loophole, and everyone and their mom knows that outdoor bar and restaurant service in IL is virtually impossible this winter without artificial enclosure. But the rules are written vaguely so that those with the means can take advantage. I think.

  19. - Just Observing - Tuesday, Nov 17, 20 @ 3:24 pm:

    Wondering why restaurants have to close at 11 p.m.? Like why can’t a cop patrolling the streets in the middle of the night get taco bell at the drive-thru?

  20. - essentially working - Tuesday, Nov 17, 20 @ 3:29 pm:

    - Just Observing - because the virus is sneaky like that…

  21. - Banish Misfortune - Tuesday, Nov 17, 20 @ 3:31 pm:

    Anyone know about swimming pools?

  22. - Fixer - Tuesday, Nov 17, 20 @ 3:32 pm:

    Yet again, these are going to be meaningless without enforcement.

  23. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Nov 17, 20 @ 3:34 pm:

    College basketball starts in a couple of weeks.

    Or does it?

  24. - Shaun in East Peoria - Tuesday, Nov 17, 20 @ 3:40 pm:

    Daycares opened to non essential workers in phase 3, during the first week of June, not sure about schools. I won’t believe anything has changed until the Texas Roadhouse in East Peoria doesn’t have a standing room only crowd hanging outside waiting for a table. I guess no one wants to get it to go because you can’t spit peanut shells on the floor at your house. It will have been good practice for when they are hanging out in the ED at UnityPoint or OSF waiting for an available bed…

  25. - DuPage Saint - Tuesday, Nov 17, 20 @ 3:45 pm:

    @Don the Legend. Personal car service I seriously thought meant car washes.

  26. - Chatham Resident - Tuesday, Nov 17, 20 @ 3:48 pm:

    ==Wondering why restaurants have to close at 11 p.m.? Like why can’t a cop patrolling the streets in the middle of the night get taco bell at the drive-thru?==

    I remember a time, say 1980s and even into the 1990s, where nearly all fast-food places closed at 10PM. Maybe earlier on Sunday nights. KFC’s usually at 9PM. Even without a pandemic. The first 24-hour fast food restaurants I heard of during that time were some of the Hardee’s locations off interstates and had lots of semi parking.

  27. - Huh? - Tuesday, Nov 17, 20 @ 3:55 pm:

    “Personal car service”

    Uber, Lyft, cab, limo?

  28. - White Dynamite - Tuesday, Nov 17, 20 @ 3:59 pm:

    = The state isn’t sending eveyone home again to get paid to do nothing like they did in the Spring.=. That is a BS statement. I’m sure there are some that didn’t have resources but many of us have been working much longer hours without overtime pay to keep things running.

  29. - Chatham Resident - Tuesday, Nov 17, 20 @ 4:00 pm:

    ==“Personal car service”

    Uber, Lyft, cab, limo?==

    What about Mass Transit? (e.g., Metra, CTA/RTA, SMTD)?

  30. - L.A. - Tuesday, Nov 17, 20 @ 4:26 pm:

    47th Ward - The first time in a long time that the Illini have a team and won’t be able to enjoy it. Once every ten years or so, they make up for the painful years when they are almost unwatchable. I cannot imagine NCAAM playing a full season, much less 60 some odd teams playing March Madness in Indianapolis.

  31. - L.A. - Tuesday, Nov 17, 20 @ 4:27 pm:

    Chatham Resident - You’re missing an ‘e’. Personal care service - like a haircut

  32. - L.A. - Tuesday, Nov 17, 20 @ 4:30 pm:

    actually, it’s Huh? that’s missing an ‘e’

  33. - Steve Polite - Tuesday, Nov 17, 20 @ 4:36 pm:

    Many state employees (under the Governor) have been working from home since March, myself and everyone in my building included. People either have laptops issued or are able to remote into their PCs back at the office. The technology is available to agencies.

  34. - Southern Dude - Tuesday, Nov 17, 20 @ 4:53 pm:

    —. The state isn’t sending eveyone home again to get paid to do nothing like they did in the Spring.—
    Oh please, some agencies under the Governor denied everyone for working from home, and denied rotating schedules so entire departments aren’t shutdown due to a quarantine. JB has kept AFSCME nice and quiet on the issue as well.

  35. - Harold Hill - Tuesday, Nov 17, 20 @ 5:16 pm:

    “The state isn’t sending eveyone home again to get paid to do nothing like they did in the Spring”

    My wife, who has been working from home since March, and who has put in at least as many hours per week as she did working from the office, would like a word. And it is likely a banned word. Probably accompanied be a banned hand gesture.

  36. - Manchester - Tuesday, Nov 17, 20 @ 5:22 pm:

    Thanks Governor Pritzker. These actions make a great deal of sense. I hope people will take them seriously, stay well, and relieve the strain on our health care providers.

  37. - State Employee - Tuesday, Nov 17, 20 @ 5:41 pm:

    ==Oh please, some agencies under the Governor denied everyone for working from home, and denied rotating schedules so entire departments aren’t shutdown due to a quarantine. JB has kept AFSCME nice and quiet on the issue as well.==

    Plus despite the temporary closure of all statewide drivers’ facilities for 3 weeks starting today, all other Secretary of State offices and employees have all been back to work and open (albeit not to the public temporarily in some cases) since June 1st. Immediately upon the state’s return to Phase 3.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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