The Illinois Department of Public Health’s (IDPH) press release announcing their daily test data is available via this link. Preliminary seven-day statewide positivity for cases as a percent of total tests from November 10 through November 16 is now 12.5%. On October 29, IDPH started reporting the statewide test positivity, which is the number of positive tests as a percent of total tests, in its daily releases. The preliminary seven-day statewide test positivity from November 10 through November 16 is 14.5%. Cases by county can be found on the state’s coronavirus website at coronavirus.illinois.gov.
Today, November 17, Governor JB Pritzker announced that Tier 3 mitigations (available via this link) will be imposed statewide. The new mitigations will go into effect at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, November 20. The governor’s press release announcing the new mitigations is available via this link.
Tier 3 enhanced mitigations (available via this link) are summarized below and go into effect at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, November 20:
· Bars and restaurants (including private clubs and country clubs) must be closed by 11:00 p.m. and may not open earlier than 6:00 a.m. the following day. Bars and restaurants can serve patrons at tables with outdoor seating only, all tables should be placed six feet apart. No seating of multiple parties at one table. No indoor service or seating is allowed. Outdoor tables cannot exceed seating for six people. No ordering, seating or congregating at the bar is allowed and it is recommended that bar stools be removed. Reservations for all groups are required. No standing or congregating indoors or outdoors while waiting for a table or exiting the premises.
· Health and fitness centers must operate at 25% capacity or less. Indoor classes are prohibited. Face coverings must be worn at all times. Reservations are required and locker room areas should be closed.
· Hotel room occupancy should be limited to registered guests only, with the maximum allowance being the number of individuals permissible per fire code. Fitness centers in hotels should be closed or operated on a reservation only model with capacity limited to 25% of maximum room capacity. Grab-and-go food at hotels is allowed. Hotel event and meeting spaces are closed.
· Indoor recreation centers, including theaters, performing arts centers and indoor museums and amusement centers must be closed. Live streaming of events is encouraged with social distancing of performers and minimum operational staff. Video gaming locations and casinos must be closed.
· All indoor group sporting and recreational activities, including youth and adult recreational sports, are paused. Individual indoor training may remain with facility reservations. This restriction applies to park districts and travel leagues. Locker rooms should be closed.
· Outdoor recreational activities are allowed at 25% capacity and group activities are limited to 10 people or less. Participants and guests must wear face coverings at all times. Reservations are required for each guest for outdoor activities. Locker rooms should be closed.
· In-home gatherings are limited to household members only.
· Meeting rooms, banquet centers, private party rooms, private clubs and country clubs may not host gatherings. No party buses are allowed.
· Funerals are limited to 10 family members of the decedents, not including staff and according to IDPH guidance.
· For offices, all employees who can work remotely should work remotely.
· Regarding manufacturing facilities, there are multiple aspects affecting training, employees, visitors, leave and other protocols.
· Personal care services must operate at the lesser of 25 clients or 25% of capacity. Face coverings must be worn at all times by clients and service providers. Services where a face covering cannot be worn must be suspended. Physical, occupational and massage therapy are only allowed if they are 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 are recommended.
· Retail (including service counters) must operate at no more than 25% capacity, this includes 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. The Illinois Retail Merchants Association issued a statement today, available via this link, in response to the new mitigations.
Other functions, including municipal governments, that 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, the state recommends that customer serving functions should be limited to 25% capacity, aligned with retail mitigations, and maximize work from home whenever 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 mitigations should remain in place. In order for a region to move back to Tier 2 mitigations, a region must experience less than a 12% 7-day rolling average test positivity rate for three consecutive days, have greater than 20% available intensive care unit (ICU) and hospital bed availability for three consecutive days and decreases in the regions COVID hospitalizations 7-day rolling average in 7 out of the last 10 days.
The Governor’s Office has previously clarified that enhanced mitigations do not affect religious functions or services. IDPH has released guidance for places of worship and providers of religious services, which is available via this link.
IDPH guidance has also clarified that enhanced mitigations do not restrict take-out, drive-thru or delivery options for restaurants. More information can be found in the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity’s (DCEO) FAQs regarding Phase 4 guidelines and mitigations via this link.
With the newly imposed mitigations affecting meetings, social events and gatherings, the Governor’s disaster proclamation is still in effect and communities may continue holding public meetings remotely as long as certain requirements are met. More information about the requirements for holding a remote meeting during a disaster is available in our fact sheet via this link.
It is recommended that all communities comply with the Governor’s executive orders and enhanced mitigations for the protection of their residents throughout this public health crisis. If a municipality wishes to deviate from the executive orders and enhanced mitigations, municipal officials should consult with their legal counsel or retained attorney prior to taking any formal or informal action that would conflict with the executive orders, as that could create liability exposure to the municipal government or those municipal officials.
Today, the Governors of Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin recorded a video (available via this link) urging their residents to mask up and stay safe during the holiday season.
The Illinois Liquor Control Commission (ILCC) has issued guidance (available via this link) confirming that local liquor control commissioners may temporarily suspend a liquor license for a period of seven days if the operation of the business “will immediately threaten the welfare of the community.” Please review this guidance as it may relate to activities of licensed establishments operating under Phase 4 guidelines. After local action has been taken, ILCC has confirmed with IML that the commission will reinforce with additional state action. Any questions about this process can be directed to Richard Haymaker, ILCC Legal Counsel, by email at Richard.Haymaker@illinois.gov or by phone at (312) 848-1051.
Please remember that the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) is requiring that municipalities eligible for the state’s Local CURE program certify and complete a survey regarding the amount of funds each community anticipates using from their allotment. To certify, DCEO is asking communities to contact David Parr by email at email@example.com. It is important that every community certifies and submits requests for reimbursement to ensure no local money is left unused. The survey is due December 1 and can be completed in the Local CURE portal, which is available via this link. Communities that do not certify with DCEO and complete the survey or do not claim their entire allotment will forfeit their funding on December 1. More information about the Local CURE program, including guidance regarding reimbursable expenses, is available via this link.
IDPH is providing daily updates on their COVID-19 website (available via this link) regarding the metrics used to determine each phase of the Governor’s “Restore Illinois” plan (available via this link). Those metrics include COVID-19 admissions to the region’s hospitals, the region’s COVID-19 test positivity rate and the available surge capacity at the region’s hospitals. IDPH is providing metrics for each individual county (available via this link).
IML is posting all of this information and more on our COVID-19 resources page available at iml.org/covid.
The State of Illinois’ central website for COVID-19 is available at coronavirus.illinois.gov.
The Illinois Municipal League will continue to distribute timely, reliable and pertinent information as it becomes available or on an as-needed basis. Please feel welcome to share these messages with municipal officials and others in your community.