North Suburban Region 9 Returns to Phase 4 in the Restore Illinois Plan

Effective today, North Suburban Region 9, which includes Lake and McHenry Counties, has met the criteria set by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) to move from Tier 1 mitigations to Phase 4 under the State’s Restore Illinois Plan.

“We’re excited to see the transmission of the virus declining to allow for additional loosening of restrictions,” said Melissa Adamson, Public Health Administrator for the McHenry County Department of Health. “The way forward, to Phase 5, will continue to demand that we practice the universal precautions to minimize the circulation of the virus. This includes staying home if you feel ill or were in contact with someone who is known to have the virus. Someone who gets the virus might be asymptomatic, but that individual is still able to pass the virus along to someone who might not be as fortunate.”

As of January 31, Region 9’s COVID-19 testing positivity rate is 6.2% calculated on a 7-day rolling average. The region’s testing positivity rate has been below 6.5% for three consecutive days, staffed intensive care unit (ICU) bed availability has risen to above 30%, and decreases in COVID-19 patients in the hospital have been reported in 10 of the past 10 days.

Phase 4 Guidelines now in effect for Region 9 include the following:

Bars and Restaurants

  • Indoor dining and drinking now permitted for parties of up to 10 people.
  • Seated areas should be arranged so that tables allow for 6 feet between parties; impermeable barriers may be installed between booths which are less than 6 feet apart.

Retail and Service Counters

  • Capacity limit of no more than 50% occupancy.

Personal Care

  • Capacity limit of no more than 50% occupancy.

Indoor/Outdoor Recreation

  • Reopening select indoor recreation facilities (e.g., bowling alleys, skating rinks); indoor playgrounds and trampoline parks should remain closed.
  • Indoor recreation to operate at lesser of 50 customers or 50% of facility capacity.


  • Capacity limit of no more than 25% occupancy.
  • Guided tours should be limited to 50 or fewer people per group.

Meetings and Social Events

  • Limit to the lesser of 50 people or 50% of room capacity.
  • Multiple groups may meet in the same facility if they are socially distanced and in separate rooms.

Complete Phase 4 guidelines can be found on the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity website.

“The COVID-19 vaccine is an important tool to help us end the pandemic, but demand for the vaccine vastly outpaces our supply, and we urge people to be patient,” said Mark Pfister, Executive Director of the Lake County Health Department. “While you wait for your turn to get the vaccine, remember that we still have the power through simple everyday actions to prevent the spread of this virus. Continue to follow the 3 Ws: Wear a mask, wash your hands, and watch your distance. If you are exposed to COVID-19, follow public health guidance to quarantine yourself and protect others. When these preventative measures are taken, the risks of COVID-19 spreading are greatly reduced.”

IDPH will continue to track the metrics in Region 9 to determine if additional mitigations are required. Information about mitigation and resurgence metrics can be found on the IDPH website at Metrics are updated daily, including testing positivity rates, ICU capacity, and COVID-19 hospitalizations.

Additional Information

Everyone should continue to follow the 3 Ws to slow the spread of COVID-19:

  • Wear a mask
  • Wash your hands
  • Watch your distance

For trusted information on the COVID-19 pandemic from reputable state and federal sources, visit the State of Illinois, Illinois Department of Public Health, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) websites.

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Media Contacts:

Lake County Health Department: Hannah Goering, (847) 377-2001,

McHenry County Department of Health: Lindsey Salvatelli, (815) 236-3238