Illinois enters Phase 4


ROCHELLE – Illinois moved into Phase 4 of Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s “Restore Illinois” plan to reopen the state late last week.

The state of Illinois has been in Phase 3 of its plan to reopen since late May and moved into Phase 4 Friday, June 26. Phase 3 allowed for group gatherings of 10 or less, outdoor dining and the opening of manufacturing, offices, retail and salons with capacity limits and safety precautions.

OCHELLE – Illinois moved into Phase 4 of Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s “Restore Illinois” plan to reopen the state late last week.

The state of Illinois has been in Phase 3 of its plan to reopen since late May and moved into Phase 4 Friday, June 26. Phase 3 allowed for group gatherings of 10 or less, outdoor dining and the opening of manufacturing, offices, retail and salons with capacity limits and safety precautions.

Phase 4 will allow for gatherings of up to 50 people and the opening of bars, restaurants, fitness clubs and movie theaters with capacity limits. In Pritzker’s reopening plan, Illinois is broken up into four different regions: Northeast, North-Central, Central and Southern Illinois.

Pritzker closely monitored the progression of the virus in all four regions for 28 days, before making a final decision for each region separately. If a region met the criteria, it could move into the next phase, but if a region did not not meet the criteria, it could remain in Phase 3 until it does.

For more than a dozen Republican Illinois Lawmakers, Phase 4 of the reopening plan is not coming soon enough. A letter signed by 19 Illinois state senators was sent to the governor urging him to speed up his plans to reopen, but he says he will not let politics influence his decision.

"This pandemic, this COVID-19 isn't anything anyone expected or knew how to deal with when it hit, but in Illinois, what we've done the right way is rely upon the science, rely upon the experts,” Pritzker said in a press conference. “You wouldn't want political decisions being made here about public health.”

The following criteria had to be met for each region to move into Phase 4: At or under a 20 percent positivity rate and increasing no more than 10 percentage points over a 14-day period, no overall increase (i.e. 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, testing available in region regardless of symptoms or risk factors and contact tracing and monitoring within 24 hours of diagnosis for more than 90 percent of cases in a region.

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