Late this afternoon, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) issued its long-awaited Phase 4 guidance for swimming in Illinois. According to the IDPH’s website, the following guidelines apply to swimming pools, wave pools, water parks, beaches, spas, whirlpools, and splash pads:
This document is intended to provide guidance to businesses operating swimming facilities licensed by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) during Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois plan. This includes swimming pools, water parks, splashpads,  beaches, spas, and whirlpools.
During Phase 4, swimming facilities licensed by IDPH can open to a maximum 50 percent capacity.  Wave pools may open, but without the use of wave generation equipment. Operators, employees, and customers should wear face coverings when not engaged in swimming activities. Exceptions can be made for children younger than 2 years of age or people with medical conditions or disabilities that prevent them from safely wearing a face covering. Operators, employees, and customers should frequently wash their hands or use hand sanitizer containing at least 60 percent alcohol. Operators, employees, and customers should adhere to social distancing where applicable.
Operators should limit group sizes to no more than 50 people, allowing for social distancing where possible. However, multiple groups of up to 50 people may be permitted if facilities allow for social distancing of guests and employees; 30 feet of distancing is maintained between groups; and areas for each group are clearly marked to discourage interaction between groups.
Operators should make employee and customer temperature checks required upon entry to the facility, and at mid-shift screen employees to ensure the absence of COVID-19 symptoms.
If an employee becomes infected with COVID-19, they should remain isolated at home for a minimum of 10 days after symptom onset OR until feverless and feeling well (without fever-reducing medication) for at least 72 hours OR until confirmed to not have COVID-19 via two negative COVID-19 tests in a row done at least 24 hours apart.
If a customer is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, they should leave the facility. If an employee or customer is identified as COVID-19 positive, cleaning and disinfecting should be performed in accordance to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines.
Swimming facilities licensed to serve food may do so consistent with Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) guidelines.  Indoor eating and drinking are permitted for parties up to 10 people.  Seated areas should be arranged so tables allow for 6 feet between parties. 
Operators should display signage at entries with guidelines for face coverings, social distancing, and cleaning protocols. Operators should provide updates to employees and customers on COVID-19 and swimming facility policies via its website or social medical channels. Showers and restrooms should be available and be cleaned and sanitized regularly. Hand sanitizers must be provided on the deck and in the bather preparation facility. Operators should minimize face-to-face employee and customer interaction where possible.
Rafts, tubes, lounge chairs, or other shared “equipment” must be sanitized between each use with a solution of at least 50 parts per million of a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-approved sanitizing agent. Guidance for appropriate cleaning of frequently touched surfaces and shared objects can be found at:
When features exist that cause patrons to congregate, including but not limited to, water slides and lazy rivers, additional controls must be implemented to prevent the spread of disease.  Written plans addressing such features shall be available for inspection by IDPH staff or any other duly authorized government agent.  Such plans shall minimally include controls for  maintaining social distancing while patrons wait for and use the feature(s), including using attendants to monitor patrons waiting at features; utilizing markings, signage, and verbal advisories to maintain 6 feet social distancing before, during, and after using the feature; and providing sanitized rafts, tubes, or other equipment.
Last Updated:  6/26/2020