North Suburban Region 9 Returns to Tier 1 Mitigation for COVID-19

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 2 to Tier 1 mitigations under the State’s Restore Illinois Resurgence Plan. Mitigation measures are strategies, such as restrictions on certain activities, put in place to slow the spread of COVID-19.

“Our health departments are encouraged by the improvements in our Region 9 metrics, and we thank everyone for taking precautions to help us move in the right direction,” said Mark Pfister, Executive Director of the Lake County Health Department. “Our counties continue to see substantial levels of COVID-19 transmission, and we must remain vigilant against this virus. Continue to follow the 3 Ws: Wear a mask, wash your hands, and watch your distance – when these everyday measures are taken, the risks of COVID-19 spreading are greatly reduced.”

As of January 23, Region 9’s COVID-19 testing positivity rate is 7.2%, calculated on a 7-day rolling average. The region’s testing positivity rate has been below 8% for three consecutive days, staffed intensive care unit (ICU) bed availability continues to be above 20%, and decreases in COVID-19 patients in the hospital have been reported in 8 of the past 10 days.

Tier 1 mitigation measures now in effect for Region 9 include:

Bars and Restaurants

  • Must close at 11 p.m. and may reopen no earlier than 6 a.m. the following day
  • Indoor service limited to the lesser of 25 guests or 25% capacity per room
  • Establishments offering indoor service must serve food
  • Indoor service reservations limited to 2-hour maximum duration
  • Maximum 4 persons per party (dining only with members of the same household recommended)
  • All bar and restaurant patrons should be seated at tables
  • No ordering, seating, or congregating at bar (bar stools should be removed)
  • Tables should be 6 feet apart
  • No standing or congregating indoors or outdoors while waiting for a table or exiting
  • No dancing or standing indoors
  • Reservations required for each party
  • No seating of multiple parties at one table
  • Includes private clubs and country clubs

Meetings, Social Events, Gatherings (including weddings, funerals, potlucks, etc.)

  • Limit to lesser of 25 guests or 25% of overall room capacity
    • Applicable to professional, cultural and social group gatherings.
    • Not applicable to students participating in-person classroom learning, or sports.
    • This does not reduce the overall facility capacity dictated by general Phase 4 business guidance such as office, personal care, retail, etc.
  • No party buses

Organized group recreational activities (fitness centers, sports, etc.)

  • Sports should follow the mitigation measures set forth in the All Sports Guidelines, which outlines appropriate levels of practice and competition based on individual sport risk
  • Face coverings must be worn at all times in fitness centers, including while engaged in individual exercise regardless of person or machine spacing
  • Recreation, fitness centers and outdoor activities (not included in the above exposure settings) follow Phase 4 guidance

“Our region’s success is based on all of us doing our part to lessen the opportunity for the virus to spread, but we can’t let our defenses down now,” said Melissa Adamson, Public Health Administrator for the McHenry County Department of Health. “We have a vaccine, and that is one more tool we have to end this pandemic, but vaccine supplies remain low. Until the vaccine availability increases for everyone, it is imperative that we continue to stay home when we are sick and get tested if we’ve been exposed to someone with the virus.”

To move into Phase 4, Region 9 must meet:

  • Testing positivity rate averages less than or equal to 6.5% over a 3-day period (7-day average), AND
  • Staffed ICU bed availability ≥ 20% for three consecutive days (7-day average), AND
  • The region has no sustained increase in COVID-19 patients in the hospital (7-day average for 7 of 10 days).

IDPH will continue to track the positivity rate in Region 9 in the coming days to determine if mitigations can be relaxed, if additional mitigations are required, or if current mitigations should remain in place.

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

To view the North Suburban Region metrics on the Illinois Department of Public Health website, visit and select Region 9. Metrics are updated daily, including testing positivity rates, ICU capacity, and COVID-19 hospitalizations.

For trusted information on the COVID-19 pandemic from reputable state and federal sources, visit the State of IllinoisIllinois 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