All Regions On Track For Phase Three By Next Friday, Childcare Expanded As More Parents Go Back To Work

Courtesy of Good Free PhotosAll regions should be able to enter phase three of reopening by May 29, meaning parents will go back to work. Illinois is working to expand childcare to help them.

With all Illinois regions ready to enter phase three of reopening by May 29, Gov. Pritzker announced expanded childcare to accommodate more children as parents go back to work in phase three. 

All currently non-operation childcare centers will be asked to reopen once their region enters phase three. For the first four weeks they can have no more than 10 children in a classroom. After four weeks of healthy operations — and with new regulations designed to prevent spread of COVID-19 —  they can expand to largest sizes no greater than 30 percent of their original capacity, Pritzker said. 

Care centers that already had a smaller capacity will most likely be able to operate at full capacity in phase three. Pritzker said these directives will bring Illinois back to 75 percent of the pre-COVID-19 childcare capacity.

This comes as 2,758 new cases of the virus were announced with an additional 110 deaths, bringing the state total to 105,444 confirmed cases and 4,715 total deaths. 

Dr. Ngozi Ezike — director of the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) — said even though it’s Memorial Day weekend, it’s important for people to continue to stay the course and stay home. 

“This is not an easy time, but until we have a vaccine and reliable treatment, we must learn how to coexist with COVID-19,” she said. “Masks and distance are the weapons we have right now to overcome this virus.”

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