Rockford, Illinois News

Pritzker ready to halt Illinois’ reopening if COVID-19 situation worsens

CHICAGO – Officials announced Wednesday that Gov. J.B. Pritzker will not hesitate to halt the Restore Illinois plan if the state’s COVID-19 situation worsens.

“The governor has been clear that he will follow the guidance of medical experts and if they advise re-instituting previous mitigations he will not hesitate to do so,”  Press Secretary Jordan Abudayyeh said in a release.

Abudayyeh’s statement comes on the heels of recent closures in Indiana, as officials there are preparing to prevent potential spikes. Gov. Eric Holcomb decided against moving the state into Stage 5 of his reopening plan ahead of the July 4 weekend. Instead, some parts of state will enter Stage 4.5, which will limit restaurants to 75% capacity and bars and nightclubs to 50%.

Fairs in Indiana may also resume, with 50% capacity while conventions are capped at 250 people. Social distancing and masks are required.

Stage 5 of Indian’s plan calls for a full reopening.

Illinois is currently in Phase 4 of its five-phase Restore plan where gatherings of up to 50 people are allowed and bars and restaurants are capped at 25% capacity. Gyms, salons and spas have also reopened with social distancing and masks. Masks are required indoors and outdoor situations where social distancing isn’t possible.

Illinois could move out of Phase 4 after 28 days, according to the plan, however, Pritzker isn’t expected to lift restrictions until there’s a COVID-19 vaccine or widespread effective treatment.

Meanwhile, several states, mostly in the Sunbelt are seeing steady increases in cases, namely among young people. The U.S. death rate, however, has remained steady.