Illinois On Track For Beginning Phase 4 On June 26: Pritzker

Pritzker In Belleville
Photo credit Gov. JB Pritzker appears in Belleville (FACEBOOK)

(WBBM NEWSRADIO) — Much of Illinois is moving toward entering Phase 4 of the governor’s re-opening plan on June 26.

Gov. JB Pritzker said that’s a week from Friday, as he reminded people to be aware of the lingering coronavirus. He noted Monday other states have been experiencing spikes in COVID-19 cases after reopening, perhaps too soon.

"I think you have seen in the other states, they moved very quickly, and they've seen a spike, and now they have to move backward,” he said during an appearance in Belleville. “You can imagine how damaging that is to small businesses. They get ready to open, they put more money into opening, they get open, and then they have to close again.”

Illinois is currently in Phase 3 of the Restore Illinois plan, which has allowed more business sectors to reopen and eased restrictions on many activities, such as golf and boating. Under Phase 4, restaurants will be able to serve diners inside with reduced seating capacity to preserve social distancing; they have been allowed to serve diners in outdoor settings.

The easing of more restrictions is dependent on maintaining certain health metrics, such as the number of hospitalizations from COVID-19 and keeping the virus “positivity” rate below 20 percent.

Pritzker last week angered Downstate Republican lawmakers by cancelling both state fairs this year without checking with them.

Chicago has purposely lagged behind the rest of Illinois in easing restrictions, out of an abundance of caution, according to local officials. Chicago won’t cross into Phase 4 until July 1, about a week after the June 26 date Pritzker mentioned Monday.