The mayor of suburban Elmhurst has asked Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker to reconsider portions of his plan to reopen Illinois, particularly including the city and DuPage County in the same health care region as Cook County.
The Northeast region, which includes Cook County, as well as McHenry, Lake, Kane, DuPage, Kendall, Grundy, Will and Kankakee counties, is the only one of Illinois' four health care regions that hasn't hit the metrics required to move into phase three of the reopening plan, Pritzker said Monday.
No region can officially move forward until May 29, under the parameters of the governor's plan.
The reason, according to the governor, is that the region’s positivity rate, a measure of the percentage of coronavirus test results that come back positive, is still too high.
“In the Northeast region, the positivity rate as of midnight on May 8 is at 22.3 percent, which is of course higher than the 20 percent cap on this metric to move into the next phase,” Pritzker said.
Elmhurst Mayor Steven Morley said Elmhurst and DuPage County are on track to meet the required COVID-19 data points dictated in the governor's plan in a "matter of weeks, if not days."
"To be clear this is unacceptable," Morley said in a letter to Pritzker. "Governor you represent all Illinoisans, not just the city of Chicago. We are asking you to understand the needs of all communities."
Morley added that data shows the coronavirus curve can flatten with large grocery stores still open. Morley also said he's confident that other retail shops can open and operate safely.
"These businesses must be given the freedom to open, or if they choose, remain close," he said. "Likewise, residents can choose to patronize these retailers or not, this is about freedom and freedom of choice."