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Archived: Dec 2020 City of Highland Park Limits Gathering Size to 10 and Closes Indoor Workout Facilities and Dance Studios

June 1, 2021 -- This news item pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic was originally posted in March 2020. For the latest information, visit 

UPDATE: The City of Highland Park lifted its supplemental order temporarily requiring the closure of all indoor workout facilities, including dance and yoga studios, effective at 12:01 AM on Saturday, December 5, 2020. Fitness businesses, including dance and yoga studios, may then resume operations in accordance with the statewide Tier 3 mitigation measures implemented by the Illinois Department of Public Health. In Tier 3, indoor fitness facilities may operate at 25% of capacity with social distancing measures in place. One-on-one personal training is permitted, but group classes are prohibited. Face coverings are required for all individuals, including trainers and trainees. Click here to view the supplemental order. Click here to learn more.

City of Highland Park Limits Gathering Size to 10 and Closes Indoor Workout Facilities and Dance Studios
Measure is intended to address the exponential growth of COVID-19 cases in Region 9 and mitigate spread in Highland Park

November 17, 2020 – The City of Highland Park (the City) has placed a limit of 10 persons on all groups or gatherings and directed the closure of all indoor workout facilities, including fitness, exercise, and dance facilities and studios, after Highland Park recorded 116[1] new COVID-19 cases over the weekend. The order is effective Tuesday, November 17 at 11:59 PM, and will remain in effect for the next thirty days, unless otherwise directed. The Highland Park Public Library also announced the closure of the Library building due to rising COVID-19 cases effective Tuesday, November 17 but will continue to offer services digitally and through a grab and go system. The measures come in response to continued sharp increases in COVID-19 cases and hospital admissions. In Region 9, which represents Lake and McHenry Counties, the test positivity seven-day rolling average was 17.1% as of November 13, 2020. According to the Infectious Diseases Society of America, gyms rank high among locations where the coronavirus is most likely to spread outside of the home.

The City strongly urges all residents to follow the guidance of the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and to stay home as much as possible for the next 30 days. This includes the following guidance to avoid contracting or spreading COVID-19:

  • Stay home. Avoid non-essential activities and limit public activities to necessities such as medical care, work or grocery shopping.
  • Avoid gatherings. Do not attend or host in-person gatherings with people from another household, including playdates, parties, business or personal meetings, and holiday dinners. The City urges individuals to cancel or postpone plans for in-person Thanksgiving dinners in favor of virtual celebrations.
  • Avoid traveling. The Lake County Health Department discourages all non-essential travel. Individuals returning home to Highland Park are urged to self-quarantine for fourteen days following their return home, particularly if returning from a state experiencing widespread community transmission. More information is available at
  • Wear a mask, watch your distance, and wash your hands. When you must leave home, be sure to follow the “3W’s.”
  • Get a flu shot. CDC guidance indicates that a flu shot is more important than ever, as influenza is also a respiratory illness.

“We must act now to save lives,” said Mayor Nancy Rotering. “While everyone is tired of the restrictions and sacrifices, we are reaching a dangerous level of infection. For the next thirty days, let’s work together to reduce contact and flatten the curve. It is critical that everyone recognize the increased burdens being placed on all of us by those choosing to gather with people from other households, whether in public spaces or in private homes. We know this is not easy for recreational businesses and hope that we will collectively work to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and get them back open swiftly.”

More information about the City’s response to COVID-19 is available at Because the City of Highland Park does not have its own health department, individuals are encouraged to contact the Lake County Health Department at 800.889.3931 with questions concerning COVID-19, city and county-level metrics, and testing.

[1] Cases in zip code 60035 rose from 729 to 845 from 11/14/2020 to 11/16/2020 as reported by the Illinois Department of Public Health:
Click here to download and view the Order.

City of Highland Park Gathering Limit and Workout Facility Closure Emergency Order FAQ’s

Will indoor tennis be permitted?
Indoor tennis practice and lessons may continue given the nature of the sport. Participants maintain social distancing as part of the game and use their own equipment. Competitive and recreational play is not permitted. The State of Illinois has set a maximum of two individuals total per court. 

Is playing golf or using a driving range still permitted?
Playing golf and using a driving range are permitted however individuals should wear face coverings and be socially distanced at all times. Indoor dining service and meeting rooms at golf clubhouses must stay closed. 

May 1:1 personal training or coaching sessions continue?
One-on-one personal training is not permitted while this emergency order is in effect. Instructors may conduct one-on-one personal training virtually. Instructors may opt to conduct a virtual one-on-one training session from the workout facility or dance studio in Highland Park however they must be alone at the facility to do so,

May physical therapy sessions continue?
Physical therapy sessions may continue under a doctor's order.

May instructors film or live stream workouts from workout facilities or dance studios?
Instructors are permitted to use workout facilities or dance studios to film or live stream classes provided that they are alone (i.e., no students or other participants apart from the instructor.) 

Does this order impact the ability to hold outdoor exercise classes within the City?
Outdoor exercise, dance, and fitness classes are permitted within the City. Businesses looking to use the Public Right of Way or public spaces such as Port Clinton Square may apply for a no-cost Temporary Outdoor Expansion Permit to do so. Questions pertaining to outdoor use of the right of way can be directed to Business Development Manager Carolyn Hersch at    

Should face coverings be worn for if gathering in groups of 10 or less?
Indoor gatherings of no more than 10 persons are permitted however all attendees should wear face masks and be socially distanced from individuals not within their own household. Indoor celebratory events, such as mitzvahs, weddings, and birthday celebrations, may not have more than 10 persons present and all attendees should wear face masks.