CHICAGO – Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said all four regions of the state are on track to move to phase 3 of the Restore Illinois plan before the end of May.
“I know there are some of our fellow Illinoisans who feel that their lives didn’t change much between phase 1 and phase 2 and we’re all itching to move ahead, so why can’t we just do it now,” said Pritzker.
The governor explained that it is critical that residents observe a full 28 day measurement period before moving to the next phase.
The state’s Restore Illinois plan divides the state into four regions, allowing each region to move through the state’s 5 phases at their own rate.
Pritzker did say Illinois has committed to operating with a focus on public health and transparent measurable benchmarks to move to each phase.
The governor said Illinoisians that live near bordering states may see a lower level of precaution. He explained he wished there wasn’t such a patchwork of different requirements from state to state.
“Some states have chosen not to listen to the advice of medical experts, they’re even politicians in Illinois who ignore science but instead are playing to a small minority who protest at our state capitol. Most of the states with the largest economies have chosen to listen to science,” explained Pritzker.
The Illinois Department of Public Health is reporting 1,545 new cases since yesterday, bringing the state total to 98,030 cases. There were also 146 deaths in the last 24 hours, bringing the number to 4.379 deaths in the state.
Illinois has worked hard to grow it’s daily testing numbers. Gov. Pritzker says the state has now overtaken New York, becoming the number one state in the nation for testing per capita.
Illinois Health director Dr. Ngozi Ezike explained, “We know that the number of cases is a big function of how many tests we’re doing and we know that the deaths would have been significantly increased if we had not implemented a stay at home order.”
Dr. Ezike also said the state could have been seeing tens of thousands of deaths and cautioned as we move to reopen we must do it safely and deliberately.