Coronavirus

All Illinois Regions on Track to Ease Restrictions by End of May

bebarnes | PixabayMost of Illinois will officially allow activities such as outdoor dining, salons and gatherings of 10 or less people to resume today, but Chicago isn’t moving as fast.

All Illinois regions are meeting requirements to move forward in Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s reopening plan by May 29, the governor said in a press conference May 14.

In order for the state to enter phase three of Pritzker’s Restore Illinois plan, all regions must have adequate testing, and tests should come back with a positivity rate under 20 percent. As of May 14, all regions were meeting the requirement, including Chicago, Pritzker said in his daily briefing. 

Phase three means less restrictions on Illinoisians. Manufacturing, offices, retail, barbershops and salons can open to the public with proper social distancing and safety guidelines, and gathering of 10 or less people will be permitted.

The move into phase three is contingent on the positivity rate of tests remaining under 20 percent, and a stable or declining number of cases. The current stay at home order is in place until May 29. After it expires, Pritzker will have the chance to reevaluate the current restrictions.

The state continues to ramp up testing, with 22,678 tests conducted in the last 24 hours, according to Illinois Department of Health Director Ngozi Ezike. There were 3,239 new cases of COVID-19 reported in the past day, and 138 new deaths due to the virus, Ezike said.

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