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Pritzker asks all Illinois child care facilities to reopen in Phase 3

IDPH: 110 more deaths, 2,758 new cases of COVID-19 in Illinois on Friday

Illinois Governor JB Pritzker removes his face mask to deliver his daily press briefing on the COVID-19 pandemic held in his office Thursday at the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield.
Illinois Governor JB Pritzker removes his face mask to deliver his daily press briefing on the COVID-19 pandemic held in his office Thursday at the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield.

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All child care facilities are being asked to reopen when their community moves to Phase 3 of the Restore Illinois plan, Gov. JB Pritzker said Friday. All four Illinois regions remain on track to move to Phase 3 on May 29.

About 2,500 child care homes and 700 child care centers have been providing care during the pandemic, some under an emergency license, Pritzker said. An additional 5,500 child care providers are being asked to open. Facilities will be limited to 10 children per classroom for the first four weeks.

“Moving forward, Illinois must take a cautious approach that appropriately balances the need to greatly expand child care with the need to lessen the risk of spreading coronavirus,” Pritzker said.

The announcement hopefully will ease the transition for parents whose employers might be reopening in Phase 3.

If child care facilities expand past 10 children per classroom in four weeks, as is the plan, Pritzker said they could operate at about 75% of their previous capacity statewide.

“If we don’t have child care, a large portion of the workforce – especially women, who too often bear a disproportionate burden – will be without any way to move forward without caring for their child themselves,” Pritzker said.

Child care facilities were deemed essential businesses from the beginning of the pandemic. Nurses, police officers and other emergency workers were eligible for the state’s child care assistance program, which covered most, if not all, og the cost for those emergency workers.

“To date, Illinois has not seen a significant transmission of COVID-19 in child care settings, which is encouraging evidence that child care can be provided safely,” Pritzker said.

Houses of worship: President Donald Trump deemed houses of worship essential Friday, although it was unclear what authority he had to do so, and called on governors to reopen churches, synagogues and mosques this weekend.

Pritzker did not commit to doing so and appeared to stand by the Restore Illinois plan, which doesn't allow gatherings of up to 50 people until Phase 4.

“I’m as anxious as anybody to make sure that [places of worship] open back to where they were before COVID-19 came along,” Pritzker said. “We’re gradually moving in that direction, but there’s no doubt the most important thing is we do not want parishioners to get ill because their faith leaders bring them together. We hope that faith leaders will continue to do as the vast majority of them have done, which is to worship sometimes online, sometimes in other capacity – outdoor and drive-in.”

Daily update: The Illinois Department of Public Health announced 110 more deaths and 2,758 more confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Friday.

The state has a seven-day rolling positivity rate of 13%. Illinois has seen 105,444 cases of the virus, and 4,715 people have died since the pandemic began. A total of 697,133 people have been tested.

As of late Thursday, Illinois had 3,928 COVID-19 patients in the hospital. Of those, 1,060 were in intensive care units, and 589 were on ventilators.

All four regions remain on track to move into Phase 3 of the Restore Illinois plan.

Regional update: As of Tuesday, the Northeast region (Cook, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, McHenry, Lake and Will counties) had a positivity rate average of 16.3%. The region also had an average of 20.5% of medical/surgical beds available, 22.2% of ICU beds available and 63% of ventilators available.

The North Central region (Bureau, DeKalb, La Salle, Lee, Ogle, Whiteside, Carroll, Boone, Winnebago, Stephenson, Putnam and Jo Daviess counties) had a positivity rate average of 6.8%. On average, there was an availability of 39.6% of medical/surgical beds, 41.1% of ICU beds and 59% of ventilators.

The Central region had an average positivity rate of 3%. On average, there was an availability of 49% of medical/surgical beds, 50.3% of ICU beds and 80.7% of ventilators.

The Southern region had an average positivity rate of 4.6%. On average, there was an availability of 45.6% of medical/surgical beds, 40.1% of ICU beds and 77.9% of ventilators.

Threshold for next phase: In addition to having testing available for patients, health care workers, first responders, people with underlying conditions, and residents and staff in congregate living facilities, and contact tracing and monitoring in place 24 hours after diagnosis, regions must hit the following thresholds to move on to the next phase in the Restore Illinois plan:

At or under a 20 percent positive rate and increasing no more than 10 percentage points over a 14-day period, AND

No overall increase (i.e. stability or decrease) in hospital admissions for COVID-19-like illness for 28 days, AND

Available surge capacity of at least 14 percent of ICU beds, medical and surgical beds, and ventilators.

Newly reported deaths:

• Boone County: 1 male 40s

• Cook County: 5 males 40s, 2 females 50s, 3 males 50s, 8 females 60s, 13 males 60s, 3 females 70s, 9 males 70s, 10 females 80s, 12 males 80s, 6 females 90s, 4 males 90s

• DuPage County: 1 female 70s, 1 female 80s, 1 male 80s, 1 female 90s, 1 male 90s

• Kane County: 1 male 50s, 2 males 70s, 1 unknown 70s, 1 male 90s

• Kankakee County: 1 female 80s, 1 male 90s

• Lake County: 1 female 50s, 2 males 50s, 1 male 60s, 1 female 70s, 1 male 70s, 1 female 80s, 1 male 80s, 2 female 90s, 1 male 90s, 1 female 100+

• La Salle County: 1 male 70s, 1 male 80s

• Madison County: 1 female 90s

• McHenry County:  1 male 80s

• Peoria County: 1 male 50s

• St. Clair County: 1 unknown 90s

• Will County: 1 male 50s, 1 male 70s, 1 female 90s

• Winnebago County: 1 female 90s

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