coronavirus illinois

Pritzker Announces Illinois Could Shift to Phase Four as Soon as Late June

On Thursday, state officials reported more than 1,500 new cases and over 100 fatalities in the last 24 hours

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With most of the state expected to enter phase three of the Restore Illinois plan on Friday, Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced regions could potentially shift into phase four of the plan as soon as late June amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking at Thursday’s press briefing, Pritzker provided insight into when the reopening plan could shift into the next stage.

“Just as this 28-day period of tracking started when we moved from phase one to phase two on May 1, our next health metrics calendar will restart tomorrow and run for the same period, meaning that regions that meet the metrics could move into Phase 4 possibly as early as Friday, June 26th,” Pritzker said.

“That’s the earliest possible date, and we will all be watching the metrics closely in hopes we will move forward expeditiously.”

Pritzker also gave the green light for all four regions to enter phase three and confirmed they have hit the required metrics to move into phase three.

The following criteria was met for phase three to begin:

  • At or under a 20 percent positivity rate and increasing no more than 10 percentage points over a 14-day period
  • No overall increase (so stability or decrease) in hospital admissions for COVID-19-like illness for 28 days
  • Available surge capacity of at least 14 percent of ICU beds, medical and surgical beds, and ventilators

Those same metrics will determine the progression from phase three to phase four, in addition to improvements in making testing available in all regions regardless of symptoms or risk factors, as well as beginning contact tracing and monitoring within 24 hours of a diagnosis for greater than 90% of cases in that region, according to the Restore Illinois website.

“Because Restore Illinois is a plan that has four regions, Northeast, North-Central, Central, and Southern, we will restart our tracking of the data for each region beginning Friday,” Pritzker said. “As always, individual townships, counties and municipalities can choose to operate on a stricter schedule and with stricter metrics.”

While much of Illinois will look different on Friday, Chicago will not be joining Illinois in entering phase three on May 29, according to Mayor Lori Lightfoot. The city likely won't enter a third phase until at least early June. (Click here for the city's guidelines for reopening)

Under phase three, manufacturing, offices, retail, barbershops and salons will be able to reopen to the public with capacity and other limits as well as safety precautions. Gatherings must be limited to 10 people or fewer and face coverings will also be necessary.

“Our goal is and always has been to keep people safe from this coronavirus while we restore more of our normal activities,” Pritzker said.

“So it’s important that we remain careful about continuing to wear face coverings, washing hands, maintaining six feet distance, wiping down surfaces, using hand sanitizer and other mitigations. Let’s not move backward, but instead forward, together.”

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