Pritzker announced a five-phase plan to reopen state as officials report 176 more fatalities, which is the highest daily death toll yet



Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Tuesday laid out a regional, five-phase plan to reopen the state based on public health data and health care availability in different parts of the state.


The plan divides the state into four regions, which could enter different phases of reopening at different times.
The fifth and final phase — “Illinois restored” — won’t come until a vaccine or highly effective treatment becomes widely available. Festivals, conventions, and all businesses and schools would reopen.
“Until we have a vaccine or an effective treatment or enough widespread immunity that new cases fail to materialize, the option of returning to normalcy doesn’t exist,” Pritzker said at his briefing Tuesday.

The governor said the state is now in the second phase. Pritzker said the fifth and final phase — when large events and conventions will be allowed — won’t start until “a vaccine or highly effective treatment” is widely available, or new cases are eliminated over a sustained period.

Meanwhile, state officials reported the highest number of COVID-19 fatalities in a 24-hour period yet, announcing 176 additional deaths. The statewide death toll now stands at 2,838. Officials also announced 2,122 new known cases, bringing the total number of known infections in Illinois to 65,962.


Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Tuesday laid out a regional, five-phase plan to reopen the state based on public health data and health care availability in different parts of the state.

The plan divides the state into four regions, which could enter different phases of reopening at different times.

The final phase — “Illinois restored” — won’t come until a vaccine or highly effective treatment becomes widely available. Festivals, conventions, and all businesses and schools would reopen.


“Until we have a vaccine or an effective treatment or enough widespread immunity that new cases fail to materialize, the option of returning to normalcy doesn’t exist,” Pritzker said at his briefing Tuesday.

To varying degrees, the entire state is already in Phase 2 of the plan, labeled “flattening,” which allows for nonessential retail businesses to reopen for curbside pickup and delivery and for additional outdoor activities like golf and boating to resume under social distancing guidelines. These new rules took effect Friday.

The earliest a region can move to the third phase is May 29, Pritzker said.

The state Department of Public Health will be tracking the four regions based on a number of metrics, which will be available online so the public can track it, Pritzker said.

“Just as public health indicators will tell us when to move forward at any time, they could also signal that we need to move backwards,” Pritzker said.

The third phase, called “recovery,” would come when the number of COVID-19 patients being admitted to hospitals and the number needing intensive-care unit beds is stable or declining. In this phase, manufacturing, offices, retailers, and barbershops and salons could reopen, with capacity limits and other restrictions. Face coverings would still be required.

In the fourth phase — “revitalization” — gatherings of 50 or more would be allowed to resume, restaurants, bars, child care centers and schools would reopen under guidance from state public health officials. Face coverings would still be required, as would social distancing measures. Reaching this phase would require a continued decline in the rate of new infections and hospitalizations

The five-phase plan is based on regional healthcare availability and recognizes the distinct impact COVID-19 has had on different regions of our state as well as regional variations in hospital capacity. 

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has 11 Emergency Medical Services Regions that have traditionally guided its statewide public health work. 

For the purposes of Restore Illinois, from those 11, four health regions are established, each with the ability to independently move through a phased approach: Northeast Illinois; North-Central Illinois; Central Illinois; and Southern Illinois.

The five phases of reopening for each health region are as follows:

Phase 1 – Rapid Spread: The rate of infection among those tested and the number of patients admitted to the hospital is high or rapidly increasing. Strict stay at home and social distancing guidelines are put in place and only essential businesses remain open. Every region has experienced this phase once already and could return to it if mitigation efforts are unsuccessful.

Phase 2 – Flattening: The rate of infection among those tested and the number of patients admitted to the hospital beds and ICU beds increases at an ever slower rate, moving toward a flat and even a downward trajectory. Non-essential retail stores reopen for curb-side pickup and delivery. Illinoisans are directed to wear a face covering when outside the home, and can begin enjoying additional outdoor activities like golf, boating and fishing while practicing social distancing. To varying degrees, every region is experiencing flattening as of early May.

Phase 3 – Recovery: The rate of infection among those tested, the number of patients admitted to the hospital, and the number of patients needing ICU beds is stable or declining. Manufacturing, offices, retail, barbershops and salons can reopen to the public with capacity and other limits and safety precautions. All gatherings limited to 10 or fewer people are allowed. Face coverings and social distancing are the norm.

Phase 4 – Revitalization: The rate of infection among those tested and the number of patients admitted to the hospital continues to decline. All gatherings of up to 50 people are allowed, restaurants and bars reopen, travel resumes, child care and schools reopen under guidance from the IDPH. Face coverings and social distancing are the norm.

Phase 5 – Illinois Restored: With a vaccine or highly effective treatment widely available or the elimination of any new cases over a sustained period, the economy fully reopens with safety precautions continuing. Conventions, festivals and large events are permitted, and all businesses, schools, and places of recreation can open with new safety guidance and procedures in place reflecting the lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Until COVID-19 is defeated, Restore Illinois recognizes that as health metrics tell us it is safe to move forward, health metrics may also tell us to return to a prior phase. With a vaccine or treatment not yet available, IDPH will be closely monitoring key metrics to immediately identify new growth in cases and hospitalizations to determine whether a return to a prior phase is needed.

As millions of Illinoisans continue working together by staying at home and following experts’ recommendations, the result has been a lower infection rate, lower hospitalizations, and lower number of fatalities than without these measures. 

As the state’s curve begins to flatten, the risk of spread remains, and modeling and data point to a rapid surge in new cases if all mitigation measures are immediately lifted. The governor and his administration continue to urge all Illinois residents to follow the state’s stay at home order and to follow the guidance issued by the state and public health experts.

About royfmc

BS in Environmental Engineering from Northwestern University's McCormick College of Engineering MBA from DePaul University's Kellstadt's College of Business JD from DePaul University's College of Law Website: www.attorneymccampbell.com
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