COVID-19 Mitigation Measures Ordered for Most of Illinois

The vast majority of Illinois is now under mitigation measures due to increases in the COVID-19 testing positivity rate.

The Governor’s office issues the mitigation orders once a region has a rolling 7-day positivity average over 8% for three consecutive days, and the orders remain in place until the rate drops below 6.5% for three consecutive days. Of the 11 IDPH regions, ten are either already under COVID-19 mitigation orders or are scheduled to begin in the next few days, with one region already under a second round of further restrictive measures.

This week, the Pritzker administration ordered COVID-19 mitigation measures to be put into place for IDPH region 11 (Chicago) on Friday, region 9 (Lake and McHenry Counties) on Saturday, and Region 3 (Adams, Brown, Calhoun, Cass, Christian, Greene, Hancock, Jersey, Logan, Macoupin, Mason, Menard, Montgomery, Morgan, Pike, Sangamon, Schuyler, and Scott Counties) beginning on Sunday.

Region 6 (Champaign, Clark, Clay, Coles, Crawford, Cumberland, DeWitt, Douglas, Edgar, Effingham, Fayette, Ford, Iroquois, Jasper, Lawrence, Macon, Moultrie, Piatt, Richland, Shelby, and Vermillion Counties) is set to begin mitigation measures on Monday. The mitigation measures currently do not apply to schools.

The mitigation measures include:


  • No indoor service
  • All outside bar service closes at 11:00 p.m.
  • All bar 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 indoors or outdoors while waiting for a table or exiting
  • No dancing or standing indoors
  • Reservations required for each party
  • No seating of multiple parties at one table


  • No indoor dining or bar service
  • All outdoor dining closes at 11:00 p.m.
  • Outside dining tables should be 6 feet apart
  • No standing or congregating indoors or outdoors while waiting for a table or exiting
  • Reservations required for each party
  • No seating of multiple parties at one table

Meetings, Social Events, Gatherings 

  • Limit to lesser of 25 guests or 25 percent of overall room capacity
  • No party buses
  • Gaming and Casinos close at 11:00 p.m., are limited to 25 percent capacity, and follow mitigations for bars and restaurants, if applicable.

Additionally, region 1 (Boone, Carroll, Dekalb, Jo Daviess, Lee, Ogle, Stephenson, Whiteside, and Winnebago Counties) is under additional restrictions which include:

Bars and Restaurants

  • Reduce party size from 10 to six individuals

Meetings, Social Events and Gatherings

  • Maximum indoor/outdoor gathering size of 10 individuals

o Applicable to professional, religious, cultural and social group gatherings
o Not applicable to students participating in-person classroom learning
o This does not reduce the overall facility capacity dictated by general business guidance, such as office, retail, etc.
o Not applicable to sports, see sports guidance

Indoor recreation

  • Maintain lesser of 25 people/25 percent of capacity
    • No groups more than 10 individuals
    • Does not apply to fitness

These mitigation measures also currently do not apply to schools.

Currently, only region 2 (Bureau, Fulton, Grundy, Henderson, Henry, Kendall, Knox, LaSalle, Livingston, Marshall, McDonough, McLean, Mercer, Peoria, Putnam, Rock Island, Stark, Tazewell, Warren, and Woodford Counties) remains without COVID-19 mitigation measures in place, though the positivity rate for the area is above the 8% mark.

IHSA Moves Ahead With Winter Sports  ​

The Illinois High School Association (IHSA) decided on Oct. 28 to move forward with winter basketball season despite guidelines issued from the Pritzker Administration and the Illinois Department of Public Health to postpone basketball this season.

IHSA voted to allow for basketball season to proceed after the Pritzker Administration announced on Oct. 27 that basketball would no longer be considered a “medium risk” sport, but instead be grouped as “high risk” according to state health officials. Under current restrictions, this would mean schools would not be allowed to hold contact games or practices.

Despite the reclassification, the IHSA board voted to allow basketball seasons to move forward in November. Whether or not a school will participate in this year’s basketball season will be decided locally.

The IHSA board said in a statement:

“After diligent discussion, the Board has made the decision today to follow the recommendation of the IHSA SMAC as it relates to basketball. The Board remains considerate of rising COVID-19 cases in Illinois and understand the importance of adhering to safety guidelines for the good of all citizens. However, the Board has not been presented any causal evidence that rising COVID-19 cases make basketball more dangerous to play by the IDPH or any other health organization nationally or internationally. On the contrary, the IHSA has been looking to bordering states who have sponsored both medium risk and high risk sports in the fall that have noted a low incident rate of COVID-19 spread.”

The statement also took note of the negative impact not allowing students to participate in sports will have on the mental wellbeing of students stating, “We fear for the mental health of students who attempt to traverse a long winter with no athletic outlet available.”

The basketball season is scheduled to begin with practices starting on November 16th and games beginning on November 30th. The season will include a maximum of 31 games. As a part of the mitigation plan, masks will be worn by all players, coaches, and officials during play.

IHSA also released guidance for “low-risk” sports including swimming and diving, cheerleading, dance, bowling, and gymnastics. The season for these sports will run from November 16 to February 13. The association also decided to move the wrestling season to summer, from April 19 to June 26.