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Updated City of Chicago Phase 4 Capacity Limits and Guidelines & CDC Guidance on Wearing Masks Outdoors – What Do Community Associations Need To Know?


May 4, 2021

Read Time

3 minutes


“Relaxed” City of Chicago Capacity Restrictions

On April 29, 2021, the City of Chicago issued updated capacity restrictions for Phase 4 (currently in effect) as well as the “Bridge Phase” (between Phases 4 and 5) of the “Restore Illinois Plan” as well as updated recommended guidance for residential buildings.

The updated recommended guidance for residential buildings includes the following:

  •  Capacity for Amenities:
    • Follow applicable capacity limit for amenities such as conference rooms, lounges, etc. (see below for City of Chicago capacity restrictions)
    • Use by appointment where feasible
    • Adjust hours to limit interpersonal interactions
  • Face Covering:
    • Required in “any outdoor and indoor common space (not including private households)”
      • Not required while in pools
    • Exceptions can be made for people with medical conditions or disabilities that prevent them from safely wearing a face covering
  • Common Areas:
    • Provide hand sanitizer and tissues
    • Fitness centers – follow updated “Health & Fitness” recommended guidance (click here)
    • Restrict or schedule resident package pickup
    • Maintain rigorous cleaning/sanitizing regime, including cleaning touchpoints multiple times per day and cleaning frequently touched surfaces such as door handles, stairway railings, elevator buttons, reception desks, and shared / common laundry room equipment

Per the updated City of Chicago Phase 4 capacity restrictions, six feet of physical distance must be maintained with capacity limits decreased as needed to accommodate appropriate social distancing.

Click here for full text of the updated City of Chicago Phase 4 recommended guidance for residential buildings and here for full text of the updated City of Chicago Phase 4 capacity restrictions.

While the City of Chicago Phase 4 capacity restrictions have been increased and recommended guidance has been updated, community association boards may impose stricter restrictions and/or keep common element amenities closed for health and safety reasons.  At the same time, with vaccine rollouts, improved COVID-19 metrics and he corresponding increased capacity restrictions and updated recommended guidance, it is reasonable for boards to consider re-opening amenities with restrictions and heightened health and safety protocols (even if it is only outdoor amenities initially) and / or modifying current restrictions as appropriate.

The “Bridge Phase” is anticipated to start in the coming days or weeks, and the current intended target for Phase 5 (full reopening) for the City of Chicago and Statewide is July of this year.

Updated CDC Guidance For Fully Vaccinated Persons

On Tuesday, April 28th, the CDC issued updated guidelines for persons who are fully vaccinated (available here), which (i) provides that fully vaccinated people can attend small outdoor gatherings and participate in outdoor activities without wearing a mask “except in certain crowded settings and venues”; and  (ii) recommends continued precautions for fully vaccinated persons, including wearing a proper mask while in indoor public settings or vesting indoors with unvaccinated persons and avoiding large indoor gatherings.  Chicago community association residents should bear in mind that Executive Order 2020-9 (as re-issued), which requires that persons over age two who are able to medically tolerate it wear a mask in “any common or shared space” in “a residential multi-unit building, remains in effect (for now) and thus masks must be worn in common elements / areas of Chicago community associations.  Click here for current text of Executive Order 2020-9 and here for our article on enforcement of the mask mandate by Chicago community associations.

LP is committed to keeping our community association clients updated, informed, and prepared to proactively navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. For questions about handling specific issues related to COVID-19 in your community association, please contact Howard DakoffPatricia O’ConnorAdam Kahn, or Molly Mackey of LP’s Community Association Group.

Filed under: Community Association

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