Governor J.B. Pritzker released an updated statewide model and regional metrics tracking progress in the Restore Illinois reopening plan today. Pritzker shared the bad news about the peak of the virus today. “So far, we are not seeing significant declines in key metrics like hospitalization. Updates to our models reflect that data compared to the forecasts that I shared with you on April 23, which predicted peaking between late April and early May. That timeframe of plateauing near a peak has been expanded from mid May into mid June. On April 23rd, which predicted peaking between the late April and early May, that timeframe of plateauing near a peak has been expanded from mid May into mid June. In many ways, this news is disheartening. We have made great progress, but it’s forced us remain at a moderated though still high level of key metrics for this extended period. Pushing out of our estimated peak is a natural consequence of flattening the curve. Remember, no one can truly stop this virus without a vaccine.”
Pritzker says the rate of transmission, or R-naught level currently sits at 1, which means that the transmission level is steady happening on a 1-to-1 person contact.
Pritzker said that three of the four regions of the Restore Illinois plan are currently on pace to meet reopening plans at the 28-day timeframe. Pritzker said during his Q&A session with the Illinois press that he is sticking by his 28-day time frame instead of some of the other nearby states earlier reopening plans. “We all have the same goal, which is to get people back to work, but to do it safely. And remember that the 14 day guidance that was put out by the White House is actually more stringent than the guidance that we put out. [Their] guidance would have required 14 days of a decline. And what we require is simply following a flattened number for 28 days, which is a much easier metric [to reach], considering everything I’ve just told you in today’s update.”
When asked further about an arbitrary date for further reopening portions of the state, Pritzker said it would be May 29th at the earliest. In a press conference from last week, Pritzker said that historical data from previous weeks and prior to May 1st would not be used to calculate the possible reopening phases for each region.
With lawsuits and calls from lawmakers to rethink the plan, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled yesterday that it has denied Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul’s request to decide if Pritzker has the authority to enforce his current executive orders.