State of Illinois Announces Tier 3 Resurgence Mitigations Effective Friday, November 20, 2020 at 12:01 AM

Illustration, created by Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins, MAM at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Illustration, created by Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins, MAM at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The State of Illinois announced Tuesday afternoon, November 17, 2020 that with a new wave of COVID-19 surging across the state of Illinois and the nation, the state is committed to listening to public health experts and following the science to keep people safe. Tier 3 builds on the Resurgence Mitigation Plan first released in July 2020 to suppress the spread of the virus and ensure our hospitals do not become overrun. This new tier aims to limit gatherings and encourages people to stay home to the greatest extent possible, while permitting some industries to remain open at significantly reduced capacities with proper safety measures in place.

All detailed Phase 4 operational guidance remains in effect. Where Phase 4 guidance and Tier 3 Mitigations imply different standards, the more restrictive Tier 3 Mitigations will apply. School districts and local officials should follow extensive guidance released by IDPH and ISBE in August and make decisions related to in-person and remote learning at the local level, based on the unique needs of their communities. Child care facilities may continue to operate subject to DCFS guidelines.


With COVID-19 spread now exponential in every region of the state, our statewide positivity rate at record highs and hospitalizations already surpassing our Spring peak, all 11 regions will move into Tier 3 effective November 20, 2020 at 12:01am. The new mitigation requirements to combat the surge of COVID-19 across Illinois are as follows:

Retail (including service counters)

Operate at no more than 25% capacity, including 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

Encourage delivery or curbside pickup options wherever possible

When in-store shopping is necessary, promote efficient trips and consistent circulation

Personal Care Service

Operate at lesser of 25 clients or 25% capacity

Face coverings must be worn at all times by clients and service providers

Suspend services where a face covering cannot be worn (e.g. facials, beard trims)

Physical, occupational and massage therapy allowed as 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 recommended

Health and Fitness Centers

Operate at no more than 25% capacity

No indoor group classes

Face coverings must be worn at all times, including while engaged in individual exercise regardless of person or machine spacing

Reservations required

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 existing fire code for each applicable guest room

Fitness centers should be closed, or operated only on a reservation model, with capacity limited to 25% of the maximum occupancy for the room.

Grab and go food allowed

Event and meeting space closed


Additional COVID training for all employees required even if previous training occurred
Operators should coordinate with IDPH to implement testing protocols and contact tracing, upon request, consistent with available testing supplies

All employees must wear face coverings at all times unless eating or drinking. Exemptions only for safety purposes.

Only manufacturing staff and key personnel allowed in facilities. Non-production employees must work remotely. Non-essential staff and visitors are not permitted. Exemptions only for critical equipment repairs, supply deliveries and safety reasons (“critical visitors”).

All critical visitors must have an Employee Health and Safety (EHS)-approved risk-assessment done in advance, including travel history, tracking, and temperature check prior to entrance.

Implement additional workstation realignment when feasible

Stagger and space shifts, and designate shift entrances and exits (when possible) to minimize interactions of employees across unique shift groupings

Station sanitation required at beginning and ending of shifts

Operators must suspend covid-related incentive pay and promote staying home when sick or showing symptoms

Implement temporary leave policies to accommodate workers who are sick

Develop and implement safety protocols for employee travel vans to promote spacing, require face coverings, temperature checks, air circulation, and vehicle sanitization

Bars and Restaurants

All bars and restaurants close at 11pm and may reopen no earlier than 6am the following day

No indoor service

All bar and restaurant 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 outdoors while waiting for a table or exiting

No dancing or standing indoors

No tables exceeding 6 people

Reservations required for each party

No seating of multiple parties at one table

Indoor gaming terminals must suspend operations

Includes private clubs and country clubs

Meetings, social events and gatherings (including weddings, potlucks, etc.)

Limit in home gatherings to household members

Meeting rooms, banquet centers, private party rooms, private clubs and country clubs may not host gatherings

No party buses

Funerals are limited to 10 family members of the decedents, not including staff, see IDPH guidance


All employees who can work remotely should work remotely

Organized group recreational activities (sports, indoor sports and activity facilities, etc.)

Pause all indoor group sporting and recreational activities including youth and adult recreational sports, individual training may remain (with facility reservation)

Includes park districts and travel leagues

Outdoor sports and recreation allowed

Participant groups and practices outdoors limited to 10 persons or less with social distancing

Face coverings required for all activities at all times

Locker rooms should be closed

Indoor recreation, theaters, cultural Institutions (e.g. casinos, bowling, arcades, movie theaters, museums and zoos)

Gaming and casinos close

Indoor recreation centers, including theaters, performing arts centers and indoor museums and amusement centers close

Live streaming of performances encouraged with social distancing of performers and minimum operational staff

Outdoor activities allowed at 25% capacity or less

Outdoor group activities limited to 10 persons or less, participants/guests must wear face coverings at all times

Reservations required for each guest for outdoor activities

The provisions above apply to industries/sectors with Restore Illinois Phase 4 guidance or other mitigations. Other functions (i.e. infrastructure, governments, logistics and warehousing etc.) that previously have not been subject to specific guidance may continue regular operations but are encouraged to voluntarily take proactive steps to support new mitigation strategy wherever possible. In these areas, customer serving functions should be limited to 25 percent capacity, aligned with Retail mitigations, and maximize work from home wherever possible.

IDPH will continue to track the positivity rates and hospital capacity metrics in regions over a 14-day monitoring period to determine if mitigations can be relaxed, if additional mitigations are required, or if current mitigation should remain in place. In order for a region to move back to Tier 2 mitigations, a region must experience less than 12 percent test positivity rate for three consecutive days AND greater than 20 percent available intensive care unit (ICU) and hospital bed availability AND declining COVID hospitalizations in 7 out of the last 10 days.

Tier 3 Resurgence Mitigations (This source information may be updated without notice in this article)

Get updates from The Cardinal ALL NEWS FEEDS on Facebook. Just ‘LIKE’ the ‘Arlington Cardinal Page (become a fan of our page). The updates cover all posts and sub-category posts from The Cardinal — You can also limit feeds to specific categories. See all of The Cardinal Facebook fan pages at …

Help fund The Cardinal is an Amazon Associate website, which means that a small percentage of your purchases gets paid to at no extra cost to you. When you use the search boxes above, any Amazon banner ad, or any product associated with an Amazon banner on this website, you help pay expenses related to maintaining and creating new services and ideas for a resourceful website. See more info at