COVID-19

IL COVID-19 Update #168

By April 7, 2021 No Comments

SUMMARY OF REPORT

1. Capacity Changes and a Roadmap to Phase 5

2. Restore Illinois Phase 4 Guidelines

CAPACITY CHANGES AND A ROADMAP TO PHASE 5 UPDATE

In March, IRMA reported that 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

The state will move to this phase when it reaches 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 4 can be found here. Individuals with proof of full vaccination will not count towards capacity restriction totals.

RESTORE ILLINOIS PHASE 4 GUIDELINES

Please refer to the Adjusted Capacity Restrictions as a base for the following updates. The Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity (DCEO) released updated guidelines for Phase 4.

Proof of Vaccination of Negative COVID-19 Test for All Premises

How are capacity limits outlined in the guidelines impacted for guests or patrons that are able to demonstrate immunity with proof of a vaccination or negative COVID-19 test?

·     Individuals with proof of full vaccination plus 14 days or a negative COVID-19 test (PCR) 1 to 3 days prior to an event or outing do not count against capacity limits. Patrons and attendees must show proof of completed vaccination series or recent negative COVID-19 test prior to entry and are subject to additional state face covering rules and social distancing guidelines of at least 6’ between individuals that are not in the same household or group even if they meet the criteria for demonstrated immunity.

Is this effective immediately, or not until the Bridge Phase?

·     This is effective immediately.

Is there a standard way to verify vaccination and/or having received a negative COVID-19 test?

·     Following full vaccination, individuals receive a vaccination card from the administrator of the vaccine. At this point, there is no uniform proof of vaccine or negative COVID-19 tests. Businesses should develop methods to evaluate authenticity of the documentation provided.

How are businesses supposed to track individuals who received vaccinations or a negative COVID-19 test?

·     Businesses are responsible for managing their capacity and admission procedures within the venue to establish a protocol and system to verify proof of a vaccination plus 14 days or a negative COVID-19 test. Businesses should evaluate privacy concerns to implement a reliable method to manage proof of vaccinations or negative COVID-19 test such as an online registration with a reporting feature and the attendee or guest needs to provide proof of vaccination card or test results in person on the date of the event. If a venue is being utilized by a company for an event, the event host is responsible for compliance.

·     If businesses opt to establish a system of checking proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test to permit greater capacity, businesses should evaluate all applicable data privacy laws for retention of the information. Businesses are not required to ask all patrons of proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 test if they wish to remain within Restore Illinois Phase 4 and Bridge Phase limits.

Is there a cap on the number of vaccinated individuals an establishment can allow on the premises?

·     Venues with fixed seating such as a theater, restaurant, and sporting venue are limited by the requirement to maintain at least 6’ social distancing between groups. Venues without fixed seating need to implement a method to ensure that groups maintain 6’ social distancing within the space.

·     For both fixed seating and non-fixed seating venues, capacities may also not exceed the maximum allowable capacity otherwise indicated by applicable codes (e.g. fire code) if other social distancing measures are feasible.

If an individual has a proven immunity through proof vaccinations or a recent negative COVID-19 test, can those individuals intermingle with people outside their group without social distancing?

·     No. The concept of permitting individuals to not count towards the capacity limits does not permit the individuals to also mix within the venue, event, or other industry space and not follow the other restrictions.

Restaurant & Bars

What is the capacity for indoor dining, and when is it permissible?

·     In Phase 4, Capacity is limited based on arranging tables so that seated patrons are a minimum six feet away from patrons at other tables (previously tables needed to be spaced 6 feet apart; now the seatbacks at one table must be 6 feet from the seatbacks at the other table).

Can bars and restaurants increase the size of their tables if some or all of the guests are vaccinated or present proof of a negative COVID-19 test?

·     Yes. The party size set forth in the guidance (no more than 10 persons) can be increased to more than 10 because the individuals who provide proof of the vaccination or a negative COVID test do not count towards maximum of 10 persons per party at a restaurant and/or bar.

Can bars and restaurants’ place tables closer than six feet apart if some or all of the guests at adjacent tables are vaccinated or present proof of a negative COVID-19 test?

·     No. Tables must continue to be spaced in accordance with the dining guidelines (6’ from chair backs).

For indoor spaces that accommodate eating/drinking, how does this affect the standing area capacity established in the guidelines?

·     As long as the establishment operators can manage the standing area to ensure parties are placed at standing tables, not mixing and spaced at least 6’ apart, then the standing area capacity (25%) can be increased with individuals that provide the proof of vaccination or negative COVID test.

What is considered a “room” for indoor dining purposes?

·     A room is a separate and distinct area within an establishment that has transitional elements between the spaces (such as plexiglass, doors, walls, etc.).

Do patrons need to wear face coverings inside the restaurant or bar?

·     Yes. Patrons should wear face coverings as soon as they enter the premises and keep them on except while eating and drinking.

What is considered “outdoor dining”?

·     A dining or drinking area is considered an outdoor dining or drinking area if the area meets any of the following criteria:

1. Located on the rooftop of a building or within establishment with retractable roof (should remain open during hours of operation of outdoor dining and/or drinking); or

2. Outdoor space connected to or located on the site of a restaurant, grocery store, health or fitness center, hotel, golf club, or other social club with a food establishment license; or

3. Indoor space where 50% or more of a wall can be removed via the opening of windows, doors, or panels provided that dining tables are within 8-ft from such opening; or

4. Any other outdoor dining and drinking areas authorized by local governments provided that food and drinks are prepared by licensed food or liquor establishments and that proper Restaurant & Bars

What is the capacity for indoor dining, and when is it permissible?

·     In Phase 4, Capacity is limited based on arranging tables so that seated patrons are a minimum six feet away from patrons at other tables (previously tables needed to be spaced 6 feet apart; now the seatbacks at one table must be 6 feet from the seatbacks at the other table).

Can bars and restaurants increase the size of their tables if some or all of the guests are vaccinated or present proof of a negative COVID-19 test?

·     Yes. The party size set forth in the guidance (no more than 10 persons) can be increased to more than 10 because the individuals who provide proof of the vaccination or a negative COVID test do not count towards maximum of 10 persons per party at a restaurant and/or bar.

Can bars and restaurants’ place tables closer than six feet apart if some or all of the guests at adjacent tables are vaccinated or present proof of a negative COVID-19 test?

·     No. Tables must continue to be spaced in accordance with the dining guidelines (6’ from chair backs).

For indoor spaces that accommodate eating/drinking, how does this affect the standing area capacity established in the guidelines?

·     As long as the establishment operators can manage the standing area to ensure parties are placed at standing tables, not mixing and spaced at least 6’ apart, then the standing area capacity (25%) can be increased with individuals that provide the proof of vaccination or negative COVID test.

What is considered a “room” for indoor dining purposes?

·     A room is a separate and distinct area within an establishment that has transitional elements between the spaces (such as plexiglass, doors, walls, etc.).

Do patrons need to wear face coverings inside the restaurant or bar?

·     Yes. Patrons should wear face coverings as soon as they enter the premises and keep them on except while eating and drinking.

What is considered “outdoor dining”?

·     A dining or drinking area is considered an outdoor dining or drinking area if the area meets any of the following criteria:

1. Located on the rooftop of a building or within establishment with retractable roof (should remain open during hours of operation of outdoor dining and/or drinking); or

2. Outdoor space connected to or located on the site of a restaurant, grocery store, health or fitness center, hotel, golf club, or other social club with a food establishment license; or

3. Indoor space where 50% or more of a wall can be removed via the opening of windows, doors, or panels provided that dining tables are within 8-ft from such opening; or

4. Any other outdoor dining and drinking areas authorized by local governments provided that food and drinks are prepared by licensed food or liquor establishments and that proper social distancing of 6-ft between designated customer tables and/or other seating areas is observed and parties are of 6 persons or fewer.

Is an outdoor structure such as a dome, tent, or igloo permitted as “outdoor dining” under the guidance?

·     Yes. Below outlines the guidance for outdoor dining structures and businesses should consult the Illinois Fire Marshal and local fire department for specific guidance on Fire Codes for these structures:

Tents and Other Outdoor Structures for Multiple Tables/Separate Dining Groups

Provided they comply with all required municipal and/or local liquor commission restrictions and approvals, temporary outdoor structures, including tents, are permissible if they comply with the following requirements:

·     Temporary outdoor structures must have at least two of the sides open to provide adequate air flow;

·     Patrons inside a temporary outdoor structure must be seated, and tables must be spaced a minimum of six feet apart;

·     All structural materials should have a fire-resistant certification or flame certification showing material is fire-rated or noncombustible;

·     Restaurants will need inclement weather plans in writing and trained to staff to prevent any injuries in storms, snow, or other unsafe situations.

Tents or Domes/Igloos for Single Table Dining Groups

·     Single party only (subject to mitigation restrictions on dining party size);

·     The structure must maintain air circulation at all times, for example via an open door, two opposing window/side openings or an open roof panel or panels. Interactions with waitstaff should be brief and all parties must have masks on during these exchanges.

·     Sanitize the chairs and table after each use; and

·     Servers and other waitstaff to minimize their time in the structure, including instituting measures such as a QR Code menu.

Can bars and restaurants allow walk-in patrons for outdoor dining?

·     Bars and restaurants should take reservations for all parties for contact tracing purposes. However, bars and restaurants can accept walk-ins provided they record the contact information of at least one person in the party – this is considered a walk-up reservation.

Bars and restaurants are required to utilize a reservation system for patrons. How long should the business retain the reservation record?

·     The state recommends businesses maintain a copy of the reservation list for a minimum of 28 days. This will enable the business and state/local health officials to contact the patrons in the event of exposure to COVID-19.

Is live music permissible?

·     Live music is permitted but employees and performers should follow social distancing guidelines, keeping the maximum distance possible from each other and from customers. Performers should wear face coverings where possible and the use of barriers between singers and customers and employees during the performance is strongly encouraged.

·     Dancing and singing by patrons (i.e. karaoke) should not be permitted.

Sports and Fitness Centers

Do people have to wear face coverings if indoor and they can stay six feet apart?

·     Face coverings should be worn at all times when inside a health and fitness center, including while exercise. Face coverings should also be worn when outside if unable to maintain fix feet social distancing from another individual.

·     Spectators and athletes inside sports facilities should wear face coverings at all times when inside the facility, with the exception of when wearing a mask could lead to injury as set forth in the All Sports Policy.

Do non-competitive dance classes and lessons fall under the All Sports Guidelines?

·     Yes.

Indoor Recreation, Theaters, and other Entertainment Venues

Are theaters permitted in Phase 4?

·     Yes; indoor and outdoor movie theaters are permitted to be open in Phase 4.

·     Indoor venues with capacity of less than 200 people may have the lesser of 50 people or 50% capacity.

·     Indoor venues with capacity of more than 200 people may operate at no more than 25% capacity.

·     Outdoor theaters and performing arts venues should operate at 25% of overall theater or performance space capacity.

·     Cleaning and disinfecting of occupied seats or tables between use by different groups or parties, and again at closing time.