Governor Introduces New Regional Approach to Reopening Illinois, McDermed Responds

The Governor announced today that he will be incorporating a regional approach to reopen the state’s economy in a five-phase plan called Restore Illinois. The four regions are Northeast, North-Central, Central and Southern Illinois:

A brief description of the five phases for each health region are as follows:

Phase 1 – Rapid Spread: The rate of infection among those tested and the number of patients admitted to the hospital is high or rapidly increasing. Strict stay at home and social distancing guidelines are put in place and only essential businesses remain open. Every region has experienced this phase once already, and could return to it if mitigation efforts are unsuccessful.

Phase 2 – Flattening: The rate of infection among those tested and the number of patients admitted to the hospital beds and ICU beds increases at an ever slower rate, moving toward a flat and even a downward trajectory. Non- essential retail stores reopen for curb-side pickup and delivery. Illinoisans are directed to wear a face covering when outside the home and can begin enjoying additional outdoor activities like golf, boating and fishing while practicing social distancing. To varying degrees, every region is experiencing flattening as of early May.

Phase 3 – Recovery: The rate of infection among those surveillance tested, the number of patients admitted to the hospital, and the number of patients needing ICU beds is stable or declining. Manufacturing, offices, retail, barbershops and salons can reopen to the public with capacity and other limits and safety precautions. Gatherings limited to 10 people or fewer are allowed. Face coverings and social distancing are the norm.

Phase 4 – Revitalization: The rate of infection among those surveillance tested and the number of patients admitted to the hospital continues to decline. Gatherings of 50 people or fewer are allowed, restaurants and bars reopen, travel resumes, child care and schools reopen under guidance from the Illinois Department of Public Health. Face coverings and social distancing are the norm.

Phase 5 – Illinois Restored: With a vaccine or highly effective treatment widely available or the elimination of any new cases over a sustained period, the economy fully reopens with safety precautions continuing. Conventions, festivals and large events are permitted, and all businesses, schools and places of recreation can open with new safety guidance and procedures in place reflecting the lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic.

After reviewing the Governor’s plan, State Representative Margo McDermed released the following statement:

“I appreciate the Governor’s acknowledgment that Illinois needs a regional response to this pandemic, something myself and many others have been advocating for weeks. After scoffing at the idea the Governor suddenly has presented us with this plan that unfortunately falls incredibly short of what Illinois needs. I particularly am confused and concerned as to how Governor Pritzker extrapolated his 4 regions from the 11 EMS regions. It is unclear to me why he has unfairly lumped Will County’s re-opening fate together with that of Chicago. Once again the Governor is unilaterally making huge, sweeping decisions for the state with little to no transparency. I believe the Governor needs to utilize the legislature so we can have open discussions and create a more realistic, reasonable, and responsible plan.