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Monday, 22 June 2020 22:13

IL Governor Releases Guidelines for Phase 4 of Reopening Plan, Set to Begin June 26

Written by Greg Bishop, The Center Square

Hundreds of thousands of Illinoisans could be gearing up to go back to work as consumers will be able to dine in at restaurants, go to movie theaters and workout indoors at gyms starting June 26.

New guidelines released June 22 also allow for youth sports, but with audience restrictions. Masks still will be required, Gov. J.B. Pritzker said.

 

Illinois has been under some of the most restrictive COVID-19 mitigation policies in the nation since mid-March. Pritzker first closed dine-in restaurants and bar activity on March 16. Schools and other businesses deemed non-essential were closed beginning March 20.

 

Weeks later, Pritzker unveiled his “Restore Illinois” reopening plan.

 

In that time, the state conducted nearly 1.4 million COVID-19 tests and discovered 136,762 positive cases. There have been more than 6,600 COVID-19-related deaths, according to public health officials.

 

Also in that time, more than 1.3 million Illinoisans have filed for unemployment benefits.

 

“Over the last four months, Illinoisans have pulled together with the common mission of keeping each other safe,” Pritzker said in a statement. “By staying home and practicing social distancing, the rate of new COVID-19 cases continues to drop and each region throughout the state is prepared to move to Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois plan.”

 

Pritzker said his COVID-19 restrictions were put in place to prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed by a surge of COVID-19 patients. The latest public health metrics have all four of the regions in the governor’s plan with ICU beds between 43% and 56% availabe.

 

“Science and data are the overarching guardrails for how Illinois will keep moving forward,” Pritzker said June 22. “By continuing to wear face coverings and following the guidance from health experts we can continue to safely reopen our economy and move forward together.”

 

The governor’s office outline for Phase 4 includes limits on the size of gatherings. The existing limit is no more than 10 people. In Phase 4, gatherings will be limited to 50 people or fewer.

 

“This expanded gathering limit extends to key activities like meetings, events and funerals,” the administration said.

 

“In all, more than 150 businesses and regional partners were consulted on the guidelines developed with IDPH to ensure alignment with the State’s Restore Framework and the latest public health data,” the governor’s office said.

 

We thank The Center Square for reprint permission. 

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