The coronavirus pandemic is still a problem in the US, and certain states are worse than others. Since Illinois still has so many cases, our governor, J. B. Pritzker, does not want to completely open up the state yet. Instead, he established a 5-phase plan to reopen Illinois. We are currently in phase 2.
Phase 1 – Rapid Spread:
This phase describes when the number of new cases is rapidly increasing. All of the regions have already experienced this already, but if it gets any worse, some regions can go back to this phase. During this time, only essential businesses stay open. Strict stay-at-home orders and social distancing guidelines are put in place.
Phase 2 – Flattening:
This phase describes a situation where the rate of infection has decreased, and is moving to a flat and downward course. Illinois entered this phase on May 1st when a modified version of the stay-at-home order was placed. During this phase, some non-essential businesses are allowed to partially open. For example, more restaurants are offering takeout options. Residents are also allowed to do outdoor activities such as fishing, hiking, boating, and golfing while practicing social distancing. Illinoisians are also required to wear a face mask while in public.
Phase 3 – Recovery:
This phase will occur when the rate of people infected and admitted into the hospital has started to decline. The earliest this phase can begin is May 29th. During this time, manufacturing buildings, offices, retail locations, barber shops, and salons can reopen to the public with some limits and safety precautions. All gatherings limited to 10 or fewer people are allowed. Rules regarding face coverings and social distancing will still be in place.
Phase 4 – Revitalization:
This phase will occur when the rate of people infected has continued to decline. When this phase begins will depend on the region. All gatherings of up to 50 people are allowed, restaurants and bars will reopen, non-essential travel will be allowed, and child care and schools will reopen under guidance from the IDPH (Illinois Department of Public Health). Rules regarding face masks and social distancing will still be in place.
Phase 5 – Illinois Restored
This phase will occur when there is a vaccine or a treatment widely available, or a stop in any new cases over a long period of time occurs. The economy will fully reopen with safety precautions continuing. When this phase begins will depend on the region. Conventions, festivals, and large events are allowed, and all businesses, schools, and places of recreation can open. New safety guidelines will be in place reflecting the lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Illinois will slowly start to open back up depending on the area, and how many cases of COVID-19 there are. The governor established this plan for Illinois to slowly go back to normal, while still protecting the population from this virus.
NBC Chicago. (2020, May 05). Here’s a Breakdown of the 5 Phases of Illinois’ Reopening Plan. Retrieved May 06, 2020, from https://www.nbcchicago.com/news/coronavirus/heres-a-breakdown-of-the-5-phases-of-illinois-reopening-plan/2266956/