Illinois introduces 5-phase plan to combat COVID-19

Madison Horvat, News Editor

With the spread of COVID-19, various strategies have been discussed to prevent the further spread of the coronavirus and to eventually stop the spread as much as possible to protect the public from further infection. On May 5, Illinois Governor J.B Pritzker announced a 5-phase plan to reopen Illinois that will hopefully reduce the strain on healthcare workers and keep coronavirus from rapidly spreading once again. 

Within the 5-phase plan, Illinois has been split into regions so that each region can move about the plan independently of one another. Will county is listed in the same region as 8 other counties that surround the Chicagoland area, making up the northeastern region of Illinois. Currently, our region is beginning phase two. Phase one’s goal was to slow the rapid spread of coronavirus with a strict stay at home order. Now under a less strict stay at home order, the goal is to continue flattening the curve while safely being able to go outside.

Phase three will be cautiously reopening the available region(s) of Illinois, which is where we start the process of returning to normalcy. However, this does not mean normalcy has returned with this phase. Social gatherings, while no longer strictly prohibited, are limited to <10 people. Limited businesses and public amenities will also start to open during this phase. However, social distancing and face coverings will still be required for safety.

Phases four and five are where the public will begin to see a “new normal”, with restrictions lifting further as is safe and can be allotted. Schools will be able to reopen during phase 4, along with nonessential retail and restaurants, though the latter two with capacity limits. Regions will also be allowed to backpedal down a phase if required to protect the public.

While “normalcy” will likely never be the same, this new phase plan will hopefully flatten the curve and help return Illinois citizens to as normal as society can be after this pandemic. In cooperating with the guidelines, the public can hope to return to work, school, and recreational social activity again in the future.