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Increased capacity in many sectors; new CDC guidance for wearing masks in public 

Forest Park, IL—Today, the Cook County Department of Public Health is issuing revised COVID-19 Phase 4 reopening guidance, which continues to ease some mitigation measures but takes a cautious approach to reopening suburban Cook County. This revised guidance is effective tomorrow, Friday April 30.

The trigger for further easing mitigations within Phase 4 is 14 days of stable/declining metrics including decreasing hospitalizations, and COVID case counts and positivity rates.

“We’re able to ease mitigations within Phase 4 for a number of reasons, including a recent decline in cases, hospitalizations and deaths, as well as nearly one-million residents, or more than 50 percent of eligible residents 16 years and older of suburban Cook County who have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine,” said Dr. Rachel Rubin, Senior Public Health Medical Officer and Co-Lead, Cook County Department of Public Health.

Re-opening metrics will continue to be monitored and mitigation strategies will be revised further as indicated.

The eased mitigations include:

  • Increased indoor restaurant capacity to 50 percent capacity or 100 individuals, whichever is smaller.
  • Outdoor social events, such as weddings, proms and potlucks increase to lesser of 50% capacity or 100 people.
  • Fully vaccinated people will be exempt from the capacity count for private social events, such as weddings.
  • Higher capacity for indoor and outdoor seated spectator events, theater and performing arts in large venues (ticketed and seated) with a capacity of 200 or more to 25 percent. Indoor events with capacity less than 200 stay at 50 percent capacity with no more than 50 people.
  • Festivals and general admission outdoor spectator events increase to 15 people per 1,000 square feet.

Additionally, the CDC has updated the guidelines for wearing masks. Individuals who are fully vaccinated can gather indoors with other fully vaccinated people without wearing a mask or staying six feet apart, or conduct activities outdoors without wearing a mask except in certain crowded settings and venues. To view the guidelines, visit: CDC Interim Public Health Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People.

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