Business Affairs Releases Roadmap for Easing Regulations Associated with COVID-19

The City of Chicago announced a roadmap for the continued easing of COVID-19 regulations, particularly as they relate to indoor dining. Chicago is making significant progress, and this framework provides clear guidance for a safe and responsible easing of mitigations as COVID-19 metrics continue to improve. Under this plan, indoor capacity at bars, restaurants, and events can increase to the lesser of 25% or 50 people per room or floor beginning Thursday, February 11. The easing of additional regulations will be possible once the City meets specific metrics as outlined below. Under the plan, the Chicago Department of Public Health has identified four metrics that are being used locally to determine the process for continuing to ease COVID-19 regulations. Those metrics are as follows, with the goal of reaching at least the "Moderate-Risk" level in each metric before we can move to continue loosening restrictions:

  • COVID cases diagnosed per day: currently averaging 466, in the “High-Risk” level. This number must be below 400 new cases per day to reach the “Moderate-Risk” level.

  • COVID test positivity: currently averaging 4.7%, in the “Lower-Risk” level.

  • Emergency Departments visits for COVID-like illness: currently averaging 69 per day, in the “Moderate-Risk” level.

  • ICU beds occupied by COVID patients: currently averaging 148, in the “Moderate-Risk” level.

The full COVID-19 Reopening Risk Matrix can be found here:

Based on the progress the City has already made in these metrics, indoor service can increase to the lesser of 25% or 50 people per room or floor at bars, restaurants, or events. All other regulations for bars, restaurants, and events remain in place (see below). Indoor dining capacity will be able to increase to 40% when Chicago reaches “Moderate-Risk” or better in all four of the categories listed above for at least three straight days. The easing of other COVID-19 regulations will be considered at that point as well. Assuming that the other metrics continue to improve or hold steady, this will be possible once Chicago reaches fewer than 400 COVID-19 cases per day, based on the seven-day rolling average, for at least three straight days. Currently, Chicago is averaging 466 new cases per day, down from 607 one week ago. In order to track the data, visit the “Reopening Metrics” page at chicago.gov/COVID or the City's COVID Dashboard at chi.gov/coviddash. Expansion to 50% capacity will then be possible if and when Chicago reaches “Moderate-Risk” in all four metrics and maintains those levels for a period of two weeks. Thank you in advance for your continued dedication to closely following these regulations and keeping customers and employees safe.