The Governor also announced a roadmap to fully reopening the state. Using a “bridge” approach, the Governor explained that the state is currently in Phase 4A, next there will be a “Bridge” period, and then Phase 5 (full re-opening without restrictions). The state has updated the guidelines (where applicable) for each industry. You can refer to the current Phase 4 guidelines here.
Moving to the “Bridge” – Metrics
The state will move into this phase once 70% of the population of adults aged 65+ has received at least their first vaccination dose, AND the ICU bed capacity is at 20% or higher AND the mortality rate, the hospital admissions and case rate for COVID remain stable over a 28-day period.
Moving to Phase 5 – Metrics
We will move to this phase when we reach a 50% vaccination rate for residents age 16 and over and meet the same metrics and rates required to enter the “bridge” phase, over an additional 28-day period
Adjusted Capacity Restrictions
The state has adjusted some of the capacity restrictions for various industries. A complete list of capacity restrictions according to Phase can be found here. Individuals with proof of full vaccination will not count towards capacity restriction totals.
It is important to note that if the COVID numbers rise, it is always possible to move back a phase.**
CHICAGO CALL TO ACTION
Mayor Lightfoot held a call for the restaurant, bar and residential/commercial buildings industries today to address the city’s significant increase in COVID cases. While much of the country is experiencing a spike in cases, Mayor Lightfoot is very concerned about the direction in which cases are going in the city.
As of today, the city is in the “Very High Risk” category of its most recent reopening matrix. Diagnosed COVID cases per day is at close to 500, in some areas of the city, they are seeing 8% positivity, and the majority of the increase can be found in 18-39 demographic with the majority of this COVID positive demographic living in Lincoln Park, Lakeview and Portage Park. They are concerned not only about the increase in cases, but the rate at which they are rising.
Through contact tracing efforts, the city is finding that 18-39 year olds are increasingly gathering at restaurants and bars as well as having large parties in private residences including public spaces in high-rise buildings. There have often been numerous reports of commercial spaces that are being turned into un-permitted uses to have parties. The Mayor was very clear that owners need to enforce the following rules:
- Enforce social distancing
- Enforce proper mask wearing
- Monitor groups and ensure that everyone is seated while in the establishment
The city warns that in both residential and commercial buildings, the owners as well as the resident/lessee throwing the party will be liable if violations are found. In addition, it wanted to make clear that for restaurants and bars, patrons that are vaccinated will still count towards the capacity requirements. They have not adopted Gov. Pritzker’s regulation that allows for vaccinated patrons to not be included in the head count. For a refresher on the city’s regulations, please find them here.