Mayor Lightfoot Announces Plan to Reopen Chicago

May 8, 2020

Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) today announced the “Protecting Chicago” framework that the city will be using to guide Chicago’s reopening process amid COVID-19. The framework – organized into five phases in alignment with the State of Illinois’ “Restore Illinois” plan – will advise Chicagoans on how to safely exit from shelter-in-place while continuing to prioritize the health of vulnerable residents.

The “Protecting Chicago” framework comprises five phases, and Chicago has already transitioned from phase one (Strict Stay-at-Home) to phase two (Stay-at-Home):

  • Phase One: Strict Stay-At-Home – Limit the amount of contact with others; goal is to limit interactions to rapidly slow the spread of COVID-19;   
  • Phase Two: Stay-At-Home – Guard against unsafe interactions with others; goal is to continue flattening the curve while safely being outside;   
  • Phase Three: Cautiously Reopen – Strict physical distancing with some businesses opening; goal is to thoughtfully begin to reopen Chicago safely;   
  • Phase Four: Gradually Resume – Continued staggered reopening into a new normal; goal is to further reopen Chicago while ensuring the safety of residents; and   
  • Phase Five: Protect – Continue to protect vulnerable populations; goal is to continue to maintain safety until COVID-19 is contained.

A set of epidemiological factors has been established to guide the next transition from the current phase two (Stay-at-Home) to phase three (Cautiously Reopen), including:

  • COVID-19 Case Rate (over 14 days, as a rolling average);   
  • Hospital Capacity Citywide (over 14 days, as a rolling average);   
  • Testing Capacity;   
  • Testing Percent Positivity Rates (over 14 days, as a rolling average);   
  • Syndromic Surveillance (over 14 days, as a rolling average); and   
  • Case Investigation & Contact Tracing.

The specific health criteria for transition between the latter phases will be established and released over the coming weeks to ensure the city is open and responsive to new data and information as it arises.