As COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths continue to fall in all four regions of Illinois, the state is preparing to enter Phase 4 of Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s five-phase Restore Illinois plan. According to the plan, Phase 5 will occur only after a vaccine has been approved or regions experience “the elimination of any new cases over a sustained period.”
Phase 4 allows for the safe reopening or expansion of indoor dining in restaurants, health and fitness centers, movie theaters, museums and zoos. Phase 4 also allows for expanded gathering sizes, increasing the limit from 10 gatherers in Phase 3, to 50 people or fewer. The expanded gathering limits extend also to meetings, events, and funerals. However, concerts and large gatherings can only occur in the next phase.
Regal Theatres in Lake Zurich has announced on its website that it will re-open July 10, as will Cinemark Theatres in Deer Park, even though guidelines allow opening on Friday.
“Science and data are the overarching guardrails for how Illinois will keep moving forward. By continuing to wear face coverings and following the guidance from health experts, we can continue to safely reopen our economy and move forward together,” said Pritzker.
The Illinois Coronavirus website warns that the entire state or certain regions within the state may need to return to prior phases if outbreaks begin.
“Until COVID-19 is defeated, this plan also recognizes that just as health metrics will tell us it is safe to move forward, health metrics may also tell us to return to a prior phase,” warns the site, “With a vaccine or highly effective treatment not yet available, IDPH will be closely monitoring key metrics to immediately identify trends in cases and hospitalizations to determine whether a return to a prior phase may become necessary.”