Explaining the Restore Illinois phases


Jess Oakley, Reporter

The Restore Illinois plan put in place by Governor Ptizker can sometimes be puzzling to understand. There are five phases that cover four regions throughout the state. The regions are northeast, north-central, central and southern Illinois. These regions are subdivided into 11 regions total. Coles County is in region six along with Iroquois, Ford, Dewitt, Piatt, Champaign, Vermillion, Madison, Moultrie, Douglas, Edgar, Shelby, Cumberland, Clark, Fayette, Effingham, Jasper, Crawford, Clay, Richland and Lawrence County. 

The phases are as follows. Phase one is rapid spread. This phase includes a strict stay at home orders, and only essential businesses may remain open. Every region has experienced this phase and could return to it if mitigation efforts are unsuccessful. 

Phase two is flattening. This is when non-essential businesses can open for curb-side pickup and delivery. Illinois residents are directed to wear a face covering in public and allowed to enjoy more outdoor recreational activities such as golfing and boating. 

Phase three is recovery. During this phase, offices, retail, barbershops and salons can open to the public with limits put on capacity. Gatherings of 10 people or fewer is allowed. Face coverings and social distancing is the norm. 

Phase four is revitalization. In this phase, face coverings and social distancing is the norm. Under phase four, gatherings of 50 people or less are allowed. Bars and restaurants reopen, travel is resumed, and childcare and schools open under guidelines for safety. 

Phase five is Illinois restored. This will be when the economy of Illinois is fully reopened and large gatherings are allowed. Phase five will not happen until there is a vaccine or highly effective treatment made widely available. 

In order to progress to the next phase, a region will have to have a 20-percent positivity rate or less. The region will also have not sustained a 10-percent increase in a 14-day period. A county or region can backslide into a previous phase if the infection rate is above 20-percent for a sustained period of longer than 14 days.

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