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Restore Illinois Plan Announced

Tuesday, May 5, 2020  
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The Illinois Restaurant Association continues to engage with local, state, and federal officials to help our employers and employees address concerns about COVID-19.

Please see the below resources and information for your business - updated as of 7:45 p.m. on Tuesday, May 5.

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Governor Pritzker Announces Restore Illinois Plan to Reopen State

 

 

 

This afternoon, Governor J.B. Pritzker released Restore Illinois, a five-phase, data-driven plan designed to reopen the state’s economy utilizing science and public health data. The plan’s framework focuses on business, education, and recreational activities.

Under this plan, restaurants and bars will not be able to open until Phase 4. The IRA strongly disagrees with the provision of this plan that will not allow for restaurants and bars to reopen dine in service until June 26 at the earliest. We have been in contact with the Governor's office to stress our opposition to this approach.

Click here to review the full Restore Illinois plan. Click here to download a one pager on the plan.

The Restore Illinois plan does not set specific dates for the phases of reopening. The five-phase plan is based on regional healthcare availability and recognizes the distinct impact COVID-19 has on different regions of the state as well as regional variations in hospital capacity. For the purposes of Restore Illinois, from those 11, four health regions are established, each with the ability to independently move through a phased approach: Northeast Illinois; North-Central Illinois; Central Illinois; and Southern Illinois.

The five phases of reopening for each health region are as follows:

Phase 1 – Rapid Spread: The rate of infection among those tested and the number of patients admitted to the hospital is high or rapidly increasing. Strict stay at home and social distancing guidelines are put in place and only essential businesses remain open. Every region has experienced this phase once already and could return to it if mitigation efforts are unsuccessful. Phase 1 includes strict stay-at-home and social distancing guidelines, and only essential businesses remain open. The entire state has experienced Phase 1 up to this point, and it could return to it if mitigation efforts are unsuccessful.

Phase 2 – Flattening: The rate of infection among those tested and the number of patients admitted to the hospital beds and ICU beds increases at an ever slower rate, moving toward a flat and even a downward trajectory. Non-essential retail stores reopen for curb-side pickup and delivery. Illinoisans are directed to wear a face covering when outside the home, and can begin enjoying additional outdoor activities like golf, boating and fishing while practicing social distancing. As of May 1, the entire state is currently in Phase 2.

Phase 3 – Recovery: The rate of infection among those tested, the number of patients admitted to the hospital, and the number of patients needing ICU beds is stable or declining. Manufacturing, offices, retail, barbershops and salons can reopen to the public with capacity and other limits and safety precautions. All gatherings limited to 10 or fewer people are allowed. Face coverings and social distancing are the norm. The earliest a region of the state can reach Phase 3 is May 29. Under this plan, restaurants and bars will not be allowed resume dine in service during Phase 3.

Phase 4 – Revitalization: The rate of infection among those tested and the number of patients admitted to the hospital continues to decline. All gatherings of up to 50 people are allowed, restaurants and bars reopen, travel resumes, child care and schools reopen under guidance from the IDPH. Face coverings and social distancing are the norm. All manufacturing can open with Illinois Department of Public Health approved safety guidance. Restaurants and bars will be permitted to resume dine in service during this phase. Personal protective equipment will be required for employees. While capacity and occupancy restrictions are included in this phase, specific occupancy caps have not yet been determined. The earliest a region can reach Phase 4 is June 26.

Phase 5 – Illinois Restored: With a vaccine or highly effective treatment widely available or the elimination of any new cases over a sustained period, the economy fully reopens with safety precautions continuing. Conventions, festivals and large events are permitted, and all businesses, schools, and places of recreation can open with new safety guidance and procedures in place reflecting the lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic. Large gatherings of all sizes can resume during this phase.

 

 

How a Region Moves to the Next Phase: Every phase will be measured by cases, capacity, testing, and tracing.

Phase 2 to 3: At or under a 20 percent positivity rate and increasing no more than 10 percent points over a 14-day period, AND no overall increase in hospital admissions for COVID-19 illness for 28 days, AND available surge capacity of at least 14 percent of ICU beds, medical and surgical beds, and ventilators. Testing available for all patients, health care workers, first responders, people with underlying conditions, and residents and staff in congregate living facilities.

Phase 3 to 4: At or under a 20 percent positivity rate and increasing no more than 10 percent points over a 14-day period, AND no overall increase in hospital admissions for COVID-19 illness for 28 days, AND available surge capacity of at least 14 percent of ICU beds, medical and surgical bed, and ventilators. Testing available in region regardless of symptoms or risk factors. Begin contact tracing and monitoring within 24 hours of diagnosis for more than 90 percent of cases in region.

Phase 4 to 5: Vaccine, effective and widely available treatment, or the elimination of new cases over a sustained period of time through herd immunity or other factors.

Based on these guidelines, the earliest a region could upgrade to Phase 4, and therefore allow restaurants and bars to resume dine in service, is June 26. 

 
What Does This Mean for Illinois Restaurants?

 

Our interpretation is that no restaurant or bar will be allowed to resume dine in service until the region in which they are located reaches Phase 4, and the earliest possible date that can be achieved will be June 26. We do not yet have guidance on occupancy restrictions and PPE requirements for restaurants once Phase 4 is reached.

Restaurants will not survive in Illinois for much longer without direct, targeted relief at all levels of government.

The latest statistics show the dire situation across our state, and why we cannot wait until Phase 4 to reopen dine in service in Illinois.


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