State reports 61 more COVID-19 deaths, as Pritzker releases new reopening guidelines

  • Servers should wear masks while interacting with patrons, under a new set of guidelines state authorities issued Sunday for businesses that will be allowed expanded operations when Illinois moves into Phase 3 of its opening plan possibly as soon as the upcoming weekend.

    Servers should wear masks while interacting with patrons, under a new set of guidelines state authorities issued Sunday for businesses that will be allowed expanded operations when Illinois moves into Phase 3 of its opening plan possibly as soon as the upcoming weekend. AP Photo/Charles Krupa

 
Updated 5/24/2020 3:31 PM

The Illinois Department of Public Health announced Sunday that 2,508 additional COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in the state and 61 more people have died from the coronavirus.

Statewide, 110,304 people in 100 counties have now tested positive for the virus, and 4,856 have died.

 

The latest figures come as the state on Sunday reported 25,674 tests in the previous 24 hours. The state's seven-day rolling positivity rate is 12%, according to the IDPH.

The large majority of the deaths reported Sunday occurred in the Chicago area, with 59 in Cook County and one in DuPage County.

Also Sunday, Gov. J.B. Pritzker released a new set of industry-specific guidelines for the reopening of businesses as Illinois moves into Phase 3 of the state's reopening plan as soon as Friday. Phase 3 is expected to bring about 700,000 state residents back to the workplace, according to the governor's office.

The plan, available at www2.illinois.gov/dceo/pages/restoreILP3.aspx, includes guidance for retail shops, offices, manufacturing operations, barbershops and salons, summer programs, outdoor recreation activities and bars and restaurants for outdoor dining.

"In every aspect of our pandemic response, and especially as we begin to safely reopen meaningful swaths of our economy, our number one priority must be the health and safety of our workers, our customers, and Illinoisans at large," Pritzker said in a news release about the guidelines. "The industry-specific baseline guidance for businesses the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity released today will help employers reopen their doors in Phase 3 in line with that priority."

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According to the latest figures from the state Sunday, all four of Illinois' regions remain on target to enter Phase 3 on Friday, May 29. In Phase 3, restaurants will be allowed to provide outdoor dining, churches can hold outdoor services, gatherings of up to 10 would be allowed, barbershops and hair stylists can open, and retail shops can open with capacity limits.

The governor's office estimates that 20%, or $150 billion in annual GDP, of the overall economy will return to operations in Phase 3.

Among the standard set of practices for business to follow are the required use of face coverings, social distancing, and informational signage on site.

"The move to Phase 3 marks a milestone achievement in our efforts to protect all Illinois communities and overcome the COVID-19 pandemic," said Dr. Ngozi Ezike, director of IDPH. "IDPH will continue working closely with local public health departments, businesses and communities across our state to refine our public health response based on the latest data, expand testing and contact tracing, and sustain our overall progress in overcoming COVID-19."

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