Illinois officials say health data shows the state is ready for phase 3 of reopening

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CHICAGO, Ill. (WTWO/WAWV) – Tuesday, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker says key health data shows that the state is ready to move to phase three of his reopening plan on Friday.

On the week ending on May 16th, Illinois reported 780 COVID-19 related deaths.

Officials say this number marks the first time since the start of the pandemic that the state has seen a week-to-week decrease in deaths.

“I am hopeful that this fact is the beginning of a downward trend,” said Dr. Ngozi Ezike, Director of IDPH.

On Tuesday, state officials also discussed the three key metrics that are being monitored to help make decisions regarding reopening the economy.

Pritzker says for the state to move into phase 3 of reopening, Illinois must have a COVID-19 positivity rate below 20 percent, hospital bed availability above 14 percent, and he says the state is also keeping a close eye on hospitalization rates.

Pritzker says the state is meeting these metrics.

“There is great news. All regions continue on track to move into phase 3 by the end of this week,” Pritzker said.

Phase three of the Restore Illinois plan will allow for industries such as manufacturing, retail, and personal care services, to open with restrictions.

“Taking greater care to consider public health in all that we do are the keys to moving quickly through the phases of Restore Illinois,” Pritzker said.

Pritzker warns that while data is trending in the right direction, that Illinois residents should not let their guard down just yet.

“That does not mean the virus has gone away. It’s still there. The reason that we’re doing so much better in Illinois than we would otherwise is because people have worn face coverings, people are washing their hands. They’re doing the things to keep themselves safe,” Pritzker said.

For more on the Restore Illinois plan: https://www.dph.illinois.gov/restore

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