With public health reports showing progress in battling the COVID-19 outbreak, Gov. JB Pritzker on Wednesday dangled the idea of restaurants opening with limited outdoor seating, boating capacity expanded, all state parks opening along with camping and golf foursomes going out in individual carts, should the state safely enter Phase 3 by the end of the month.

With the good news, however, Pritzker reminded people the state isn’t out of the woods yet.

“The virus has not gone away. Other states that have thrown out restrictions have seen rising cases and have seen rising hospitalizations. Here in Illinois we are following the science and we are succeeding. But we can’t let up now,” Pritzker said.

Wednesday saw 2,388 new cases and 147 additional deaths, reported IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike. Over the last 24 hours, 21,029 tests were conducted. The statewide 7-day rolling positivity rate for May 11-17 is 14 percent.

Ezike said key hospitalization, ICU and ventilator patient numbers are showing declines, which is needed to move to the next economic phase.

“As of last night, 3,914 individuals are reported to be hospitalized with COVID-19 across the state. Of those, 1,005 were in the ICU and 554 were on ventilators. This is the lowest number since we were capturing these numbers that we have had for COVID patients in the hospital,” she said.

If trends continue, all parts of the state would be on track to move to Phase 3 of the governor’s plan on May 29. Phase 3 includes relaxed business and social restrictions. For example, gatherings would be allowed with up to 10 people.

The governor thanked Illinoisans’ for adhering to the guidelines, saying they are the reason these restrictions could be lifted.

“The virus has brought with it an enormous financial toll for workers and families. You’ve done what you've had to do to fight the fight. You are slowing the spread. You are bending the curve. You are keeping our hospital capacity from being overwhelmed. Because of your preservation, we have reduced the rate of spread in every region of the state, since even the beginning of May,” Pritzker said.

In Phase 3, under the governor’s modified plans, restaurants would be required to adhere to social distancing guidelines, employees would have to wear masks and tables would be placed six feet apart.

Pritzker said he is working with churches and religious operations on future flexibility.

Gov. JB Pritzker shared news that the more than 1.8 million SNAP recipients in Illinois will be able to order groceries online beginning June 2 in an effort to make shopping easier and keep families safer.