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GOVERNOR'S DAILY BRIEFING – All regions of Illinois to move to Phase 3 of Restore Illinois tomorrow

Gov. JB Pritzker announced today that all four regions of the state have met the metrics to move to Phase 3 of the Restore Illinois plan tomorrow, May 29.

In Phase 3, businesses like hair salons, retail stores, barbershops and offices will be allowed to reopen following Illinois Department of Public Health guidelines, which can be found at Illinois.gov/businessguidelines.

The governor also announced that IDPH has provided guidance for day camps and youth sports to resume activities.

Pritzker said he will be sharing guidance for houses of worship to operate during Phase 3 later today but emphasized that drive-up and remote services are still the safest option. He also announced that horse racing will return in Phase 3.

Both Pritzker and IDPH Director Ngozi Ezike urged Illinois residents to continue following best practices like hand washing, wearing masks and keeping a physical distance of six feet.

Ezike shared the daily COVID-19 numbers:

  • 1,527 new confirmed cases in the last 24 hours out of 25,993 tests performed
  • 115,883 total confirmed cases
  • 104 additional deaths in the last 24 hours for a total of 5,186 deaths

Ezike also noted that, among those who have passed away from COVID-19 in Illinois, 44% were in long-term care facilities.

To address this, Pritzker announced a rule requiring each long-term care facility to develop its own testing plan and document an established relationship with a testing lab.

https://www2.illinois.gov/Pages/news-item.aspx?ReleaseID=21600

They will be required to conduct testing during an outbreak, when an outbreak is suspected, periodically regardless of the status of an outbreak and when directed by IDPH or a local health department. He said these requirements are intended to give IDPH an enforcement mechanism to deal with privately run facilities that opt out of assistance from their response teams.

In answering reporter questions the governor said ...

  • His administration is providing guidance to employers for how to go about protecting employees in moving to Phase 3.
  • Courts have upheld his actions regarding religious institutions and settings. He’s offering best practices to churches and religious organizations.
  • While other states have slashed government services and jobs, Illinois was already hollowed out, and such cuts would hurt working families and those who are relying on state services. He will manage through the next few months to see what happens with federal aid.
  • If infections spike in Phase 3, the state or a region could move backward.
  • He has no plans on going out to eat, but will see if he can get a hard-to-come-by appointment for a haircut.
  • He plans to continue daily updates for now, (though it’s widely believed he will scale them back soon).
  • He took issue with a reporter suggesting the budget is based on “precarious” federal funding since the bridge loan program utilized was specifically put in the CARES Act to aid states in these very situations. The money the state has received so far can only be used on COVID-19, expenses as opposed to being used to replace lost sales tax dollars.

Expressed his desire to have kids back in school this fall but highlighted the urgency of protecting students, teachers and other education workers.

COVID-19 Links

Illinois.gov

Illinois Department of Public Health

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Illinois Department of Employment Security - Unemployment Benefits

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