The Reopening of State’s Economy Is Unknown

By Benjamin Cox on April 22, 2020 at 9:08am

No one in the state can give a definitive answer on when the state’s economy will reopen. Governor J.B. Pritzker announced last week that a partnership had been struck with governors in Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Indiana and Kentucky on how to open the Midwest region’s economy. The joint announcement of the partnership mentioned that the economy would be phased in over time. On Saturday, Pritzker said that things would be determined by scientific and health department data. Pritzker said yesterday that changes are coming to his executive stay-at-home order, but it is unclear what they are and when they will happen.

The Illinois Department of Public Health’s weekend report showed two straight days of record deaths in the state. Pritzker and IDPH Director Dr. Engozi Izike have continually asked the public to wear masks to protect frontline workers of the healthcare and retail community.

An airlifted shipment of PPE purchased in China for the state’s PPE stockpile landed at O’Hare Airport in Chicago on Monday.

Pritzker says that if the economy were to reopen soon, the state would be examining warehouse and manufacturing sector on how to change procedures and protect workers.

Pritzker failed to acknowledge a small group of protestors at the Capitol Building on Sunday during his press conference on Monday morning. The small group of demonstrators were asking for the state to cease its stay at home order and to reopen the economy. Some were also calling the governor’s current order illegal because it had surpassed its 30-day time frame allotted under the Illinois Constitution. The demonstration also had 2 vehicles block a non-busy intersection in Springfield on Sunday but was soon dispersed by police. The small protests mirrored larger ones taking place around the country.

Pritzker now expects a mid-May peak in COVID-19 cases for Illinois. Pritzker says there won’t be any return to ‘normal’ for the state until widespread testing is available and contact tracing is more accurate and robust. “There isn’t enough testing and there won’t be for some time for the state to really open everything up. [The state] going to need a whole lot more.” Pritzker said yesterday he would not follow Georgia’s lead as that state reopens parts of its economy Friday, and he said he would heed the advice of the federal government in taking broader action once the number of new cases and deaths has decreased for 14 straight days. Pritzker says he is trying to prevent a second surge of the virus from occurring.