Pritzker Open to Regional Reopening if Health Data Follows Federal Plan

By Jeremy Coumbes on May 2, 2020 at 11:58am

Portions of Illinois may be able to open sooner than others if they meet criteria laid out by the federal government.

Governor J.B. Pritzker said during his daily update yesterday, he is open to the idea of rationalization reopening in Illinois, as long as it follows the guidelines set forth in the three phase plan announced by the Trump administration in late April.

We are being careful about this, we are in fact working on the plans for opening up, for working. We’ve started with the President’s plan, Dr. Fauci’s plan, thinking that we have to get past the peak of cases, which we are not past.

Downstate or in the collar counties or in Cook County we are not past is yet. And once we get past that, and see consistent downward trend of those numbers, it gives us the indicator to say let’s move to the next phase.”

Pitzker says he and his team are looking at all the ways they can take into account the local circumstances in every part of the state when considering reopening by region. He says in order to safely reopen a region, that area needs to not just have a low number of cases of COVID-19.

““It’s true there are areas of the state that have a low case count and a low infection rate. There are also areas of the state where you would say they have a low case count, a low death count but it’s a very high infection rate, and the percentage of people who are dying is higher.

So look at Cook County verses some of these other areas in terms of infection rate or the doubling time, and they are doing much worse, or the same as Cook County or the collar counties. So we want to be careful, looking at this from a hospitalization and hospital region perspective, rather than simply saying “well gee this is Southern Illinois and therefore we should open everything up because there are only a few cases”, well those few cases may only be a few cases among a very few population also.””

Pritzker says regions of the state could open ahead of the May 30th date, if they have enough hospitalization to absorb a surge in cases, and are over the peak.

Yes, if it is heading down the other side of this slide that even the national plan proposed, if it’s 14 days on a down slide then absolutely it can be sooner.

I want as much as everybody else does for everybody to get back to work and for us to move toward normalcy , but I’m also going to say that I am not going to do it until we know people are safe and it isn’t going to be because some protester has a sign that says liberate Illinois.”

Pritzker’s comments on reopening came after State Director of Public Health Dr. Ngoze Ezike announced a new record number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state.

As of yesterday’s daily update, the state has seen 3,137 new cases in the previous 24 hours, with 105 additional deaths, bringing the totals statewide to 56,055 cases and 2,457 deaths attributed to the virus.

Locally Morgan County received confirmation of two more cases of COVID-19, both cases are males in their 30’s who are isolated and recovering at their homes.

Cass County confirmed one new case of COVID-19. The patient is a email in her 40’s who is also isolated at her home.

Morgan County now has had 24 confirmed cases with one death. Cass County is now at 36 confirmed cases.