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Phase 4 Public Health Guidelines

Post Date:06/25/2020 2:35 PM

Additional businesses and activities will be able to resume with public safety guidelines in place on Friday, June 26 as Illinois and Evanston progress to Phase 4 of Governor J.B. Pritzker’s Restore Illinois recovery plan.

According to the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), there is a continued decline in the rate of infection in new COVID-19 cases, and hospitals have capacity and can quickly adapt for a surge of new cases in their communities. Still, residents are reminded to be vigilant about following public health guidelines to continue to reduce the spread of COVID-19 as the City and State make progress towards a safe recovery.

Phase 4 Public Health Guidelines

SixFeet_croppedDuring Phase 4, non-essential gatherings of 50 people or fewer are permitted; however, community members should continue to take critical preventive actions to reduce the spread of COVID-19, including:

  • Stay home if sick
  • Cover coughs and sneezes
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces
  • Wash hands frequently for at least 20 seconds
  • Practice strict physical distancing when in public
  • Wear a cloth face covering in public when a six-foot distance from others is difficult to maintain

Cloth face coverings slow the spread of the virus and help prevent people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others.

The City’s local state of emergency declaration, which enhances the City’s ability to respond to COVID-19, was recently extended through July 13, and may be extended further. The declaration is a necessary step to take a variety of discretionary actions to respond to a public health emergency. There are no specific public health guidelines tied to this declaration. 

Phase 4 Business and Activity Guidelines

Additional businesses and activities can resume in Phase 4 while following strict health and safety guidelines established by the IDPH and the City’s Health and Human Services Department. Guidelines include wearing face coverings, maintaining a six-foot physical distance between individuals unless otherwise permitted, frequently washing hands, and limiting capacity in certain businesses.

Businesses and activities permitted to resume under these health and safety guidelines and additional industry-specific guidelines include:

  • Meetings and events: Venues and meeting spaces can resume with the lesser of up to 50 people or 50 percent of overall room capacity.
  • Recreation: Indoor recreation may operate at lesser of 50 customers or 50 percent of facility capacity, with outdoor recreation allowing group sizes of up to 50.
  • Indoor dining: Indoor dining can reopen with parties of 10 or less, with tables spaced 6 feet apart in seated areas and with standing areas at no more than 25 percent of capacity.
  • Museums: Can reopen with no more than 25 percent occupancy.
  • Cinema and theatre: Indoor seated theaters, cinemas, and performing arts centers can allow admission of the lesser of up to 50 guests or 50 percent of overall theater or performance space capacity (applies to each screening room).
  • Youth and recreational sports: Competitive games and tournaments are permitted; youth and recreational sports venues can operate at 50 percent of facility capacity, 20 percent seating capacity for spectators, and group sizes up to 50.
  • Health and fitness centers: Gyms may open at 50 percent capacity and allow group fitness classes of up to 50 people with new safety guidelines for indoors.
  • Education and child care: P-12 schools, all summer programs, and child care may open with IDPH-approved safety guidance.

Businesses should review and implement all IDPH guidelines prior to reopening. Guidelines and toolkits are available on the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity website

The City will continue to work with businesses to better accommodate and expand safe outdoor dining options for local establishments, including waiving sidewalk cafe permit fees for 2020. Business owners with questions about establishing a sidewalk cafe or dining area in a public right-of-way should contact Building & Inspection Services Division Manager Gary Gerdes at To date, 42 sidewalk cafe permits have been issued.

City Facilities and Operations

View the City's Safe Reopening web page for updates on the status of City facilities, amenities and programs. The City is awaiting State public health guidelines regarding the reopening of playgrounds and basketball courts. An update on the status of these facilities will be provided as soon as guidelines are available.

For more information, please call/text 847-448-4311. For convenience, residents may simply dial 3-1-1 in Evanston.

Phase 4 - What Does it Mean (1)

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