Reopening During the COVID-19 Pandemic

October 30, 2020 - Region 6, which includes Ford County, will operate under mitigation measures beginning November 2, 2020. Click here for the official press release. Click here to review the resurgence mitigations.

FCPHD encourages all employers, businesses, houses of worship, and other community organizations that work with and serve the public to consider partnering with FCPHD to safely reopen. Essential businesses that have remained open during the COVID-19 pandemic may also participate. FCPHD is open to communication with any local entity looking for guidance to protect their staff and the public they serve. Ford County entities interested in receiving information to help develop safety strategies, should call the FCPHD office at (217)379-9281, or email Please include the title of your business or organization, primary point(s) of contact, email address, and a telephone number. There is no deadline to submit this information, but FCPHD does encourage entities to be proactive.

Restore Illinois

Restore Illinois is a five-phased plan that will reopen the state guided by health metrics.  It recognizes the distinct impact COVID-19 has had on different regions of the state. Ford County is in the Central Region. Under the Restore Illinois framework, certain businesses and activities are allowed to resume in Phase 3 and 4 with IDPH-approved safety guidance in place. Phase 3 began on May 29. The earliest effective date for Phase 4 is June 26. 

To prepare businesses and employers to implement the new safety guidelines and to bring many residents back to work, the State of Illinois has developed Phase 3 and Phase 4 business toolkits complete with signage, training checklists, and other resources to ensure business and activities are conducted in accordance with the latest and greatest public health recommendations.

Phase 4: Revitalization (June 26). Phase 4 guidelines include five new industry categories and updated recommendations for the existing categories from Phase 3. Each set of guidelines includes a common set of guidelines that are expected and encouraged among all employers and activity types, as well as workplace and program-specific guidelines. Additionally, the State of Illinois is providing guidelines for: Outdoor seated spectator events, indoor and outdoor tennis facilities, RV Park and Campgrounds.

Back to School - Fall 2020

Sign In to Dine In - As we open for inside dining, it is possible many of the people that will be testing positive for COVID-19 will have dined inside at one or more restaurants. Vacation season will also bring visitors from other areas to our local restaurants. We are currently seeing rapid increases of COVID-19 in states that may have opened too early. Due to this, we are promoting a simple contact tracing idea called “Sign In to Dine In.”

“Sign In to Dine In” is a voluntary program that asks restaurants to initiate a policy of asking people requesting inside dining to have one person per party sign in to provide their contact information before they are seated. Restaurants can adopt this policy right now to help local contact tracers in the event someone tests positive for COVID-19 and recently dined at a certain restaurant. 

Phase 3Recovery (May 29). Phase 3 guidelines span 10 different industry categories: manufacturing facilities, health and fitness centers, offices, personal care services, retail, outdoor recreation, service counters, day camps, youth sports, and restaurants and bars (outdoor dining). Phase 3 also lists new guidance for indoor/outdoor tennis, boating and fishing, and golf. Each set of guidelines includes a common set of guidelines that are expected and encouraged among all employers and activity types, as well as workplace and program-specific guidelines. 

Ford County Reopening Presentation

Missed the Reopening Virtual Presentation held on May 21, 2020? Don't worry. You can view the recorded presentation here: FCPHD Reopening Presentation Recording. Please note, the presentation does not begin until 7 minutes and 40 seconds into the recording. To avoid waiting, you may drag the time bar to the 7 minute 40 second mark.

You can also access a hard copy version of the presentation here: FCPHD Reopening Presentation Hard Copy.


These reopening plans can be completed and submitted to Ford County Public Health Department for review.

Other Templates and Tools

Guidance and Recomendations





  • Agency on Aging
  • Community Care Coordination
  • DHS
  • CDC
  • Gibson Area Hospital & Health Services