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

Published: Thursday, May 28, 2020 04:57 PM

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

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.

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.

GOVERNOR'S DAILY BRIEFING – Lower one-day positivity rates continue

Published: Wednesday, May 27, 2020 04:22 PM

Gov. JB Pritzker delivered his daily COVID-19 press briefing from the Jackie Joyner Kersee Center in East St. Louis today. He highlighted the city’s drive-thru testing center, which is now able to receive up to 500 samples a day from community members who need tests.

He also used his platform to speak about the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor and the viral Central Park video taken by Christian Cooper.

“Being black in America cannot be a death sentence,” Prizker said. “But it is in some ways. And it’s dangerous to pretend otherwise.”

Pritzker said he felt a special responsibility as a white elected official to urge Illinoisans and Americans to truly contend with the racism that permeates society.

Local St. Clair County and health officials also spoke on the work being done to open one of two pilot contract tracing programs in the state.

Pritzker shared the daily COVID-19 numbers:

  • 1,111 positive tests out of 17,179 performed in the past 24 hours for a single-day positivity rate of 6.47%.
  • Statewide total of 114,306 cases and 803,973 tests performed.
  • 160 additional deaths, bringing the statewide total to 5,083.
  • Preliminary 7-day rolling average from May 20-26 of 8.6%

In taking questions from reporters, Gov. Pritzker said:

  • Nursing home restrictions across the country are likely to be among the last things loosened, according to the CDC.
  • The state does not include antibody test results in the daily results for a couple reasons: 1. They’ve so far proven to be unreliable 2. If accurate, they tell you that you HAD the disease and medical science is no longer sure anymore that having had COVID-19 provides immunity from getting it again.
  • The needs of communities like East St. Louis have been overlooked for too long and his administration offers specific loan programs to help communities of color like East St. Louis.
  • He is as anxious as anyone to see sports return, but it’s not safe to put fans in the stands, and even organizing TV-only events would involve a lot of people. And he has not had any specific conversations with the NHL regarding Chicago serving as a hub city for hockey games.
  • He’s not going to dictate to the mayor or Chicago City Council when a casino opens or where it should go.
  • He does not know if the John Deere Classic will be played July 6 in the Quad-Cities but does know that the PGA has been in contact with his staff.
  • He is aware that theater owners want to reopen, but that’s planned for Phase 4, not Phase 3.

COVID-19 Links

Illinois Department of Public Health

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Illinois Department of Employment Security - Unemployment Benefits

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