On Course For Phase 3 To Begin On Friday

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Every region in the state remains poised to advance to the next stage of state plan to emerge from COVID-19 coronavirus restrictions on Friday, May 29.

“Please remember, we are currently in Phase 2 of the Restore Illinois Plan,” Montgomery County Health Department Administrator Hugh Satterlee said.  “We anticipate that we will be advanced to Phase 3 at the end of the week, but confirmation of this advancement has not yet been received.”

As of Sunday, May 24, the health department reported a total of 40 positive test results in Montgomery County and 19 pending tests.  Statewide, the number of deaths caused by the virus continues to trend down, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), with 31 deaths reported on Monday, May 25, for a total of 4,884 in the state.

“IDPH has indicated we can build on the governor’s existing Restore Illinois Plan to bring back more activities faster and continue to adhere to precautions and safety measures to keep each other safe,” Christian-Montgomery EMA Director Greg Nimmo said on Friday. “The governor’s office has worked with restaurant industry representatives and has announced that restaurants can open for outdoor seating when Phase 3 begins, on May 29. Businesses are encouraged to work with their cities to find acceptable ways to get things moving and making their customers feel safe. With the right restrictions–tables six feet apart, masks and distancing measures for staff, and other precautions–IDPH believes these services can open at a risk comparable to other outdoor activities and give businesses a much-needed boost.”

Phase 3 will also permit all gatherings–not just essential ones–of 10 people or fewer. 

“That means if you want to go enjoy a picnic in the park or a walk with nine other people, you can,” Nimmo said.  “Just remember to wear a mask or a face covering when a social distance can’t be maintained.”

Phase 3 will also allow boating or camping with up to ten people, indoor and outdoor tennis facilities with IDPH safety precautions and capacity limits, and foursomes on golf courses. All state parks can reopen with staffing and safety measures. Personal care services, one-on-one personal training in indoor facilities and outdoor fitness classes of up to ten people can take place with safety precautions.

“All retail stores–basically any store that wasn’t already open as an essential business–can choose to open their doors to in-person shopping with IDPH safety precautions and capacity limits in place,” Nimmo said. “Our next target date as a region for Phase 4 is June 26  if we can stay the course.”

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