Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker laid out the state's plans for its phased reopening, but cautioned residents that the state is still several weeks away from moving forward from where things currently stand.
According to the governor, the state is currently in phase two of the five-phase reopening plan released Tuesday. That phase, called the "flattening" phase, means that non-essential retail stores can reopen for curbside pickup and delivery, while state residents are directed to wear face coverings while outside their homes.
Phase three of the plan, called the "recovery" phase, opens up the state even more, but Pritzker warned that the state is still several weeks away from beginning that phase.
"Because May 1 marked the beginning of Phase 2, that is the first day for the 14-and 28-day measurement periods to begin, meaning the earliest a region can move to Phase 3 is May 29," Pritzker said. "Changes to mitigation strategies in each phase will impact the data in each phase, so the assessment period begins when each new phase begins."
During his remarks, Pritzker emphasized that the state has been divided into four regions, based on hospital availability and population, and that different regions can move into different phases of the plan based on the number of new cases being reported in each of the regions.
Under the third phase of the plan, numerous businesses can reopen, including retail stores, hair salons, and offices, and gatherings of 10 or fewer people will be allowed. Social distancing will still be encouraged, as will enhanced cleaning procedures.
Phase four will include the reopening of bars and restaurants to dine-in service, as well as the reopening of schools and child care facilities. Gatherings of 50 or fewer people will also be allowed.
Phase five will see the economy fully reopen, with conventions and festivals once again open, but Pritzker warned that this phase will only be implemented when a vaccine or an extremely effective treatment for the virus is available.