On Tuesday afternoon, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker announced “Restore Illinois” – a roadmap with five phases designed to gradually bring the state out of quarantine and back to normal.
“Restore Illinois is a public health plan to safely reintroduce the parts of our lives that have been put on hold in our fight against COVID-19,” Pritzker said.
The plan divides the state into four “health regions” which will move through the five phases independent of one another, based on COVID-19 data and healthcare capacity within the region, he said.
“This is also a data-driven plan that operates on a region-by-region basis, a recognition that reality on the ground looks different in different areas of our state,” Pritzker said.
Restore Illinois will provide step-by-step guidance around reopening businesses and allowing for social gatherings and other recreational activities, he said. Dependent on public health metrics, health regions will move forward through each phase, but may also need to move backwards if surges in cases occur.
The final phase of the plan, “Illinois Restored,” will likely be impossible to reach without a COVID-19 vaccine or viable treatment option, Pritzker said.
The state also reported a new record for the highest single-day increase in COVID-19 deaths on Tuesday, with 176 additional deaths.
The Illinois Department of Public Health also reported 2,122 new cases of the coronavirus.
“Those are our grandparents, those are our loved ones, those are our friends,” Pritzker said.
“Until we have a vaccine or an effective treatment…the option of returning to normalcy doesn’t exist,” he said.
On Monday, the IDPH reported the state’s lowest 24-hour COVID-19 death toll in two weeks. This contrast supports Pritzker’s assertion that it is important to look at weekly trends, rather than focusing on data from a single day.
The state conducted 13,139 tests in the last 24 hours, of which 16.2 percent came back positive, according to the IDPH. This is down from the 16.9 percent positive rate reported Monday afternoon.
Tuesday’s numbers bring statewide totals to 65,962 confirmed cases and 2,838 lives lost. The state has now conducted a total of 346,286 coronavirus tests.
The state’s total hospitalizations due to COVID-19 have increased since Monday.
On Tuesday, the IDPH reported that 4,780 Illinois residents are in hospital care and, of those residents, 1,266 are in Intensive Care Units and 780 are on ventilators.
This week, Pritzker activated 190 additional members of the Illinois National Guard to help with operations at two Community Based Testing Sites (CBTS) as well as other COVID-19 response efforts.
According to a news release from the Illinois National Guard, the additional soldiers and airmen bring the total number of activated members to 1,150.
Source: The Daily Chronicle