Tuesday, 19 January 2021 18:28

Regions, Phases and Tiers Sow Confusion, Frustration Over Continued Illinois COVID-19 Restrictions

Written by Greg Bishop, The Center Square
Gov. J.B. Pritzker speaks at a news conference in Chicago on Dec. 14. Gov. J.B. Pritzker speaks at a news conference in Chicago on Dec. 14. Brett Rowland|The Center Square


...the governor isn’t listening to the industry, or to state lawmakers.


“I think if the administration were to listen to those restaurants, there might be a happy medium, somewhere where they can meet and the restaurants can somehow stay afloat,” Crespo said.


Region 3 was in Tier 3, but Springfield Mayor Jim Langfelder said they’ve moved forward with some indoor service anyway. Jan. 18, the region leapfrogged Tier 2 and 1 to be in Phase 4 without any tiered mitigation. 


Pritzker worried about community spread Jan. 15 in areas not abiding by his rules.


“It is dangerous to reopen in an environment in which you haven’t reached the metrics that have been set out by the doctors, by [Illinois Department of Public Health], epidemiologists and sciences,” Pritzker said.


State Rep. Mike Murphy, R-Springfield, said the mitigations haven’t been fairly enforced from county to county.


“There hasn’t been a clear picture on this,” Murphy told WMAY. “I can understand why people are confused because it’s very confusing.”


Murphy said it’s beyond time for the legislature to get engaged and impacted industries must be heard.


To address hospital capacity issues, the Pritzker administration said it "has launched a surge staffing program."


"The program leverages the state’s larger contracting power to engage multiple staffing vendors and create access to a talent pool at greater scale than any individual hospital could achieve," the administration said in a statement. "Hospitals with rooms available to increase capacity but lacking the personnel to staff their beds may partner with the state to procure the staff they need."


The administration also said it's keeping an eye on a variant of COVID-19 identified first in the United Kingdom. 


"Experts are predicting another possible surge due to this new variant in the next several months," the administration said. "Because of this, it is vital for people to remain vigilant and continue to wear their masks, keep 6 feet of distance, avoid large gatherings and get vaccinated when they are eligible."


The governor's update did not include new information about the status of high school sports, which have mostly been put on hold since before fall semester.


We thank The Center Square for reprint permission. 


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