House Republicans Outline Ways to Start to Reopen

By Jeremy Coumbes on April 23, 2020 at 8:59am

House Republicans in Illinois are outlining what they would like to see happen to start to re-open the state.

A group of House Republicans suggested ways to slowly reopen businesses and relax individual restrictions in the state during a video conference Tuesday.

Governor J.B. Pritzker’s stay at home order is scheduled to expire next Friday, April 30th, but the possibility of many state businesses being able to reopen at the end of the month came into doubt on Monday, after Pritzker announced that health experts are suggesting that the rising number of new cases of COVID-19 will not peak until closer to mid-May.

Some GOP lawmakers are currently seeking ways to reopen the economy, and according to the Associated Press, include re-opening businesses such as car dealerships, golf courses, department stores and hair salons.

Rep. Ryan Spain of Peoria says people need more access to non-coronavirus health care, and more businesses should be able to open up, provided they can do it safely.

The answer here isn’t to try and shut down more businesses, it’s how do we turn the corner and allow businesses to safely reopen, especially when it’s a common sense business like a local nursery that sells flowers for working at your home in the outdoors where we are all spending a lot more time now.”

The group also says allowing hospitals to resume operations including screening procedures such as mammograms and colonoscopies needs to happen, citing that these procedures are weeks or months behind in some areas.

Rep. Dave Severin of Benton says for starters, state parks in Illinois need to be opened back up.

Camp sites are a great place to do social distancing, because they are remote, hiking trails, they are remote, horse and ATV trails they are definitely remote. So there’s activities that can be enjoyed by Illinoisans while maintaining social distancing.”

Rep. Mark Batinick of Plainfield said he hoped their proposed modifications would get “buy-in” from the public.

The group of lawmakers says that such normal activities would look different. People would be required to wear face coverings and maintain the well-known 6 feet of social distance from others to discourage transmission of the illness.