COVID-19 chicago
Updated November 21, 2020: Welp, it’s happened: Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker has issued new statewide restrictions that roll us back to Tier 3, effective November 20, 2020, at 12:01 a.m. You can read the state’s full plan here.
Chances are you got an alert on your smartphone saying as much, and at a news conference this week announcing the new restrictions, Pritzker said: “Tier 3 boils down to this: If you don’t need to do it, don’t.”
“This is not a stay-at-home order, but the best way for us to avoid a stay-at-home order is to stay home,” he said.

The restrictions close or pause:

  • Indoor gaming venues and casinos
  • Theaters
  • Museums
  • Indoor sports of any kind
  • Indoor fitness classes
  • Restaurants and bars can’t serve indoors, and they have to close to the public between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m.

These things can continue:

  • Outdoor service at bars and restaurants
  • Curbside pickup and delivery
  • Limited-capacity personal care services, except those in which masks can’t be worn (such as facials)
  • Outdoor sports, as long as masks are worn at all times
  • Grocery and pharmacy shopping

In general:

  • Limit gatherings at your home to people in your household (or pod).
  • If employees can work remotely, they should.
  • Thanksgiving is still definitely canceled.

November 14, 2020 update: In response to rapidly rising COVID-19 case rates, hospitalizations, and deaths in Chicago, Mayor Lightfoot has issued new restrictions on in-person gatherings and a new stay-at-home advisory that go into effect at 6 a.m. Monday, November 16 for 30 days. Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker has also signaled he may soon issue new restrictions for the entire state.


Restrictions for events:

  • The city is requiring that indoor and outdoor events being held at venues, hotel guestrooms, and rental properties be limited to 10 people.
  • The requirement applies to gatherings such as weddings, funerals, wakes, and parties, including those held at places of worship.
  • Regular services for places of worship can be held at 40 percent capacity, up to 50 people.
  • Existing capacity requirements won’t change for places like: gyms, retail stores, personal services and movie theaters. They’ll still be allowed to operate at 40 percent capacity, or 50 people max, whichever is fewer. Which means you can still support your local shops, salons, takeout restaurants and bars (carryout cocktail? yes, please).
  • Meetings or social events at those businesses must abide by the 10-person limit. (A birthday party at a spa, for instance.)
  • Under a state order that went into effect October 30, restaurants and bars aren’t allowed to provide indoor dining or service. And non-essential businesses have to close to the public between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m.

The stay-at-home advisory:

  • All Chicago residents are advised to “only leave home to go to work or school, or for essential needs such as seeking medical care, going to the grocery store or pharmacy, picking up food, or receiving deliveries,” according to the city advisory.
  • We’re also being asked to avoid having guests in our homes unless they’re essential workers (for instance, childcare workers or home healthcare providers).
  • Avoid non-essential travel.
  • And, yeah: Thanksgiving is canceled.

Featured image by Tori Bidwell / United Nations for Unsplash

Several of our fabulous Rebelles contributed to this piece.