February 3, 2021: Region 9 has now been advanced to Phase 4. Learn more.
Last updated February 3, 2021.
What is Restore Illinois?
Restore Illinois is a five-phase plan designed to navigate the coronavirus pandemic and reopen the statewide economy, including business, education, and recreation. In its original form, released in early May 2020, Restore Illinois divided the state into 4 regions. However, with the State's response to the pandemic shifting to identifying and mitigating outbreaks of COVID-19, the number of statewide regions was expanded to 11. This allows for a more granular approach. Highland Park is in Region 9, which combines Lake and McHenry Counties. The IDPH is tracking this data by region on its website. More information about the plan is accessible at coronavirus.illinois.gov and an FAQ is available from the IDPH.
The data-driven plan was developed in consultation with the Illinois Department of Public Health, stakeholders from a variety of sectors, and elected officials and leaders from different regions of the state. The plan identifies five phases of the coronavirus pandemic, divides the state into four regions, and specifies benchmarks related to cases and healthcare capacity, testing, and tracing that each region must meet in order to progress to the next phase. The full Restore Illinois plan provides specific criteria for progress and describes scenarios that could cause a particular region to take a step back, such as a significant outbreak that threatens a region's overall health.
The plan will be reviewed and updated as necessary in response to ongoing analysis of public health data and new scientific developments.
What is the Restore Illinois COVID-19 Mitigation Plan?
On July 15, 2020, Governor Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Public Health announced a new COVID-19 mitigation plan. The plan outlines steps that will combat a resurgence of cases while maintaining the progress that Illinois has made towards bending the curve. The mitigation plan utilizes 11 regions, following county lines, to provide a granular approach in responding to outbreaks or surges of COVID-19 cases. Highland Park is in the North Suburban region, which consists of Lake and McHenry Counties.
To which region does Highland Park belong?
In the original Restore Illinois plan, which tracked statewide metrics through four regions, each incorporating several State EMS regions, Highland Park was in the Northeast Region.
Beginning July 16, data tracking was expanded to a more detailed model based on 11 statewide regions to better support targeted mitigation efforts. In the COVID-19 Mitigation Plan, which takes a more granular approach by using indiviudal EMS regions, Highland Park is in the North Suburban Region (EMS Region 9), which consists of Lake and McHenry Counties.
What are the five phases in Restore Illinois?
Phase 1: Rapid Spread
- COVID-19 spreads rapidly, and the number of COVID-19 positive patients in the hospital, in the ICU, and on ventilators is increasing.
- Dramatic mitigation measures (stay at home orders, social distancing) are necessary to slow the spread of the virus and avoid overwhelming the healthcare system.
- Only essential businesses are in operation. Restaurants are open only for delivery, pickup and drive-through service, and activities outside the home are limited to absolute essentials, like grocery shopping, and emergency healthcare. Limited outdoor recreation is permitted.
Phase 2: Flattening
- COVID-19 continues to spread, but the rise in the rate of infection is beginning to slow and stabilize. Hospitalizations and ICU bed usage increase but are flattening, and hospital capacity remains stable.
- Face coverings are required when social distancing is not possible.
- Testing and tracing capacity is increased to contain outbreaks and limit the spread.
- Phase 1 restrictions on activities continue, with some modifications. See this post for more information.
Phase 3: Recovery
- Rate of COVID-19 infection is stable or declining, and COVID-19-related hospitalizations and ICU capacity remain stable or decrease. Robust testing is available.
- Face coverings in are required when social distancing is not possible.
- Gatherings of 10 people or fewer, for any reason, can resume.
- Select industries can begin returning to work with social distancing and sanitization practices in place.
- Restaurants may open for outdoor dining service, provided health and safety precautions for guests and staff are followed. Delivery, curbside pickup, and drive through service may continue.
- Non-essential retail businesses may reopen to foot traffic, with capacity restrictions and other safety measures in place.
- Barbershops and salons may reopen with IDPH-approved safety guidance.
- Health and fitness clubs may provide outdoor classes and one-on-one personal training.
- Restrictions on other outdoor activities are lessened.
Phase 4: Revitalization
- The rate of infection continues to decline; hospitals have capacity and are prepared to quickly adapt to a surge. Testing is widely available and tracing is commonplace.
- Gatherings of 50 people or fewer are permitted.
- Childcare and schools may reopen.
- Health/fitness clubs, cinemas and theaters may reopen with capacity limits and IDPH-approved safety guidance.
Phase 5: Illinois Restored
- Testing, tracing, and treatment are widely available.
- A vaccine is available to prevent additional spread of COVID-19, a treatment option is readily available to ensure that healthcare capacity is no longer a concern, or there are no new cases over a sustained period.
- All sectors of the economy reopen with new health and hygiene practices permanently in place.
- Large gatherings of all sizes (such as festivals, concerts) may resume.
What phase are we currently in?
Each region in the state of Illinois is in Phase 4. However, Region 9 (Lake and McHenry Counties) is currently operating under Tier 2 Mitigations. (more information)
On Monday, June 22, 2020, the State of Illinois issued Phase 4 Guidelines for Reopening. An overview of changes from Phase 3 was also released. More information will shared as it becomes available.
The City of Highland Park is in the Northeast Region of the state. All Illinoisans may monitor the IDPH Restore Illinois Reopening Metrics on the IDPH website.
No timeline has been set for any region to progress through the phases of Restore Illinois.
How will we know when we are able to progress to the next phase?
IDPH is regularly updating its Restore Illinois statistics dashboard to help all Illinoisans understand the minimum benchmarks that must be reached in order to progress to the next phase. Regions may progress at different paces, and can always take a step backward to prevent increased spread of illness. Track detailed phase progression metrics on the IDPH Restore Illinois website.
Under the Restore Illinois guidelines, the State will not enter Phase 5 without a vaccine or treatment for COVID-19, or no new cases are discovered over a prolonged period. More information about Phase 5 is available from IDPH.
What could cause a region to become more restrictive?
Because Restore Illinois is a data-driven plan, the Illinois Department of Public Health will carefully monitor statewide metrics to respond proactively to an outbreak or surge of COVID-19 cases.
Regions could implement more restrictive mitigations if:
- Three consecutive days averaging greater than or equal to 8% positivity rate
Regions could also implement more restrictive mitigations if:
- Sustained increase in 7-day rolling average (7 out of 10 days) in the positivity rate
- Sustained 7-day increase in hospital admissions for a COVID-19-like illness
- Reduction in hospital capacity threatening surge capabilities (ICU capacity or medical/surgical beds under 20%)
What mitigation strategies could be used to address an outbreak of COVID-19?
The COVID-19 Mitigation Plan provides for three tiers of interventions to address an outbreak of COVID-19. The Plan indicates options that may be applied to different settings. The list is not exhaustive and is subject to change.
Why must regions wait so long before progressing to the next phase?
Restore Illinois is based on public health metrics, and it's important to see sustained progress over time.
How can individuals help meet Restore Illinois benchmarks?
Preventing the spread of COVID-19 and protecting our most vulnerable neighbors is a collective effort. We need everyone to be "all in" by following these guidelines:
- Always wear a face covering when a distance of six feet from others outside your household cannot be maintained.
- Follow all health and safety guidelines issued by the State of Illinois and local government.
- Continue to follow all public health guidance for interaction with individuals outside your household.
- Enjoy outdoor recreation with your household, again following all guidelines.
- Check in with neighbors, particularly the elderly or immunocompromised, by phone.
- Support Highland Park businesses by shopping and dining local!
- Prepare for future public health needs by completing your 2020 Census form. Census data informs funding allocations for public health and emergency services.
Where can I find information about Restore Illinois metrics?
Visit IDPH to view metrics for all four regions.
Where can I read the Restore Illinois plan?
Visit the State of Illinois Restore Illinois COVID-19 response website.
How is the City of Highland Park supporting our local business community?
The City has been in communication with local business owners since the start of the pandemic, and understands the serious impacts COVID-19 has had on our local economy. Among other initiatives, the City has implemented the following programs to assist businesses in weathering the economic impacts of COVID-19:
- Financial Assistance for Restaurants and Retailers (FARR) Grant Program, providing reimbursements for qualifying COVID-19 operational expenses
- Waivers & deferral of certain business fees and licenses
- Cost-free permit applications for temporary use of the City right-of-way for outdoor dining, fitness classes, and retail, including during fall & winter
Questions regarding these and other efforts to support businesses, including promotional campaigns, may be directed to the Office of Business Development at 847.926.1027.
The City has developed several resources on its website to assist business owners and residents during this time:
Why is Restore Illinois subject to change?
It's important to ensure that all decisions regarding public health are data-driven. Restore Illinois needs to be flexible to adapt to changing needs. Because COVID-19 is a new virus, there's much that scientists don't yet know, and Restore Illinois will be updated to reflect the latest science and data. Changes to the plan will be communicated by the Office of the Governor and amplified by the City.
My question isn't answered here; what is the next step?
We'd love to hear from you. If your question concerns the City of Highland Park, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Residents without access to email may contact the City Manager's Office at 847.926.1000.
Questions regarding operating hours or services of local businesses should be directed to that establishment.
If your question concerns coronavirus and is not specific to the City, IDPH is responding to inquiries at email@example.com, or 800.889.3931.
Questions regarding state initiatives to support businesses may be directed to the Illinois DCEO at 800.252.2923.