Updates to the Chicago Park District’s COVID-19 Response Plan

Chicago Park District Employee Vaccination Policy  |  Posted October 19, 2021

The health and welfare of Chicago Park District employees and patrons continues to be our top priority as we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. This is why the Chicago Park District is announcing that effective December 15, 2021, all Chicago Park District employees are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, unless they have an approved medical or religious exemption.

To learn more, read the policy:  Chicago Park District Employee Vaccination Policy


Chicago Park District Mask Policy  |  Posted August 2, 2021

In accordance with updated recommendations from the Chicago Department of Public Health, the Chicago Park District is revising its indoor mask policy due to the recent increase of COVID-19 cases in Chicago.  Face coverings are now required for all individuals in all public indoor park settings regardless of vaccination status.

Chicago Park District Phase 5 Mask Policy  |  Posted June 14, 2021

As the health and well-being of children in our parks is our highest priority and with most of the children in our programs not eligible to receive the vaccine, the Chicago Park District will continue to require that face coverings be worn by everyone who enters our indoor spaces when children are present.  If children are not present, vaccinated persons may remove their face coverings.

The Chicago Park District encourages everyone to follow the recommendations of public health officials from the Chicago Department of Public Health, the Illinois Department of Public Health, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and unvaccinated persons should continue to wear a face covering in crowded outdoor settings or in instances where social distancing cannot be maintained. 

Masks Continue to be Required in the Parks  |  Posted May 14, 2021

While the CDC announced an updated mask guidance that would allow vaccinated people to stop wearing masks in the majority of indoor and outdoor settings, the Chicago Park District guidance remains the same. As vaccination is not a requirement for our employees and the focus of our programming is youth who are not eligible to receive the vaccine, masks are still required to be worn by staff and patrons in our parks.  

Chicago Park District Announces Plans to Reopen Lakefront, Playgrounds and Aquatics Programming  |  Posted February 23, 2021

Today, Chicago Park District General Superintendent & CEO Michael Kelly announced plans to reopen the city’s lakefront, playgrounds and indoor aquatics programming as metrics allow the city to ease COVID-19 regulations. 

“We are thrilled that lakefront, playgrounds and indoor aquatics programs can safely reopen,” said Chicago Park District General Superintendent & CEO Michael Kelly. “The District is busy preparing these facilities to open as soon as possible. Although these restrictions are being lifted, we must continue to be diligent with the safety protocols that have been instrumental in our progress.”

As snow removal and clean up from recent storms continue along the lakefront, Chicago Park District crews will begin opening public access points to parkland east of Lake Shore Drive. Lakefront parks will be open during normal operating hours. Regulations on lakefront parking will also be lifted. Parking fees will be required and enforced. Masks are mandatory. Large gatherings are strictly prohibited and social distancing must be observed at all times.  

During the upcoming weeks, the Chicago Park District will also unlock gates and prepare all 500+ outdoor playgrounds and nature play spaces to reopen, expanding outdoor recreation opportunities for children, ages 12 and under. Families and caregivers are urged to practice safety guidance, including wearing a mask, social distancing and cleaning hands frequently. These high traffic areas are not sanitized but can be enjoyed safely by following the guidance on the signage installed at each location. 

During its Spring programming session, the Chicago Park District will reopen its indoor swimming pools to offer limited aquatics programming. Spring registration begins Monday, March 8th. Programs run April 5th through June 13th. Spaces for each program will be limited to observe social distancing. The District will follow swimming pool guidance from the State of Illinois.

For park specific, COVID-19 updates, visit www.chicagoparkdistrict.com. We also encourage residents to check the City of Chicago website for vital information including Protect Chicago and Protect Chicago Plus in addition to the State of Illinois website for Restore Illinois, the most up-to-date information and guidance available.


Enjoy the Parks Safely