coronavirus illinois

When Could Phase Four of Illinois' Reopening Plan Begin?

On Monday, state officials reported the lowest number of new cases since late March, and the lowest number of new deaths since early April

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The state has been in Phase Three of the "Restore Illinois" plan since late May, and according to current metrics, Phase Four of the plan could begin as soon as late June amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Late last month, Gov. J.B. Pritzker said that the state will have to wait 28 days from the start of Phase Three to officially move forward.

“Just as the 28-day period of tracking started when we moved from phase two to phase three on May 29, regions that meet the metrics could move into Phase 4 possibly as early as Friday, June 26,” Pritzker said.

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

All four regions entered phase three in late May, as hospitalization numbers, ICU usage and positivity rate were all within acceptable limits.

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.

Under phase three, manufacturing, offices, retail, barbershops and salons were 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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