Pritzker: Illinois ready to move into next phase, leads nation in COVID-19 testing per capita

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CHICAGO, Ill. (WCIA) — Illinois is on-track as a whole to move into “Phase 3” of Gov. JB Pritzker’s five-phase plan to reopen sectors of the state that were shuttered as a resulted of the COVID-19 pandemic.

There are currently 10 days remaining under the most recent version of the state’s Stay-At-Home order, which is set to expire on May 30. Following that, Pritzker on Tuesday said the state’s coronavirus statistics indicate that all regions will be able to move into “Phase 3,” which includes the following changes:

  • Salons and barber shops are allowed to reopen
  • Gyms and other health clubs are allowed offer individualized training one-on-one or outdoor classes
  • Non-essential retail shops and manufacturers can reopen to the public with social distancing measures enacted
  • Gatherings of 10 or fewer people are permitted

Restaurants remain restricted to carryout and delivery services only.

Limited childcare options will also be available in Phase 3 — but what that means in detail is still forthcoming, Illinois Department of Public Health director Dr. Ngozi Eizke said.

“We know there are childcare establishments that are already open now and more and more people will be going to work so obviously that need is pressing as people are getting ready to return to work,” she said. “So we will lay out that guidance in just a few days and we will have more childcare opportunities to address the needs of the communities as they start returning to work.”

Talk of moving the state into Phase 3 coincides with Illinois now completing more COVID-19 tests per capita than any other state in the country: Pritzker said Tuesday that Illinois has surpassed New York state in that measure over the past seven days.

“Over the last few weeks, we’ve seen Illinois make significant, measurable progress … in growing our daily testing numbers. Today, we reached another major milestone: Among the most populous states int he United States, Illinois has now overtaken New York to become the number one state in the nation for testing per capita over the past seven days,” Pritzker said.

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