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Gov. Pritzker announced a major childcare initiative today, saying that at the onset of Phase 3 late next week, child care centers will be asked to open again in a staggered plan to offer increased child care as parents return to work.

Under the plan, child care centers that have been shuttered would begin a four-week provisional period allowing groups of 10 children, then would be allowed to open up to larger groups as long as no safety issues are found to have arisen. Pritzker said this plan would return the state to about 75% of its previous child care capacity. For many smaller providers, he said, that will mean a return to full capacity. Children under 2 would be in special groups where (as in public) they would not be required to wear masks.

The child care providers who have been open under emergency rules to serve essential workers will immediately be able to provide the full allowable capacity when Phase 3 begins, Pritzker said.

While he didn't explicitly detail any faith organization guidelines, Pritzker said that "broadly speaking," things like outdoor or drive-in faith services would be welcome under Phase 3 of the plan. In questions, the governor said he has maintained contact with faith leaders of every denomination, including a call this morning.

IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike reported 2,758 new confirmed COVID-19 cases, bringing the total to 105,444, and 110 additional deaths, bringing the state's total death toll to 4,715.

Questions:

  • Asked whether he's "linking Republicans to the extremist fringe," Pritzker responded "I didn't link Republican elected officials to Nazi demonstrators, they linked themselves," and again pressing GOP officials to call out some of their own colleagues' behavior at protests.
  • Pritzker expressed frustration that it appears the legislature will not pass a bill codifying his withdrawn enforcement rule re: businesses in violation of the Stay at Home Order.
  • Asked if he agrees with Mayor Lightfoot's move to more slowly reopen Chicago despite Phase 3 of the reopening plan, Pritzker reiterated that local leaders should have discretion in such matters.
  • Asked when guidelines for fall K-12 classes will be issued, Pritzker had no firm date.
  • Asked whether another pending suit in Clay County could overrule his executive order, Pritzker said the matter has already been decided in other courts and "it's clear that judge has his own political agenda."