Coronavirus: When will Illinois reopen?


Published: May 22, 2020 UPDATED:
By Andy Boyle and Caroline Hurley, Chicago Sun-Times

On May 5, Gov. J.B. Pritzker unveiled his five-phase plan to reopen the state, breaking the state into four regions and identifying key metrics each region needs to meet before moving to the next phase.

When the plan was released, each region was already in Phase 2, but the governor’s office cautioned that regions could move backwards if the spread of the coronavirus intensifies.

All regions have since moved into Phase 4, although municipalities, such as Chicago, can have stricter restrictions.

Here’s a look at how the state is progressing along Pritzker’s plan to gradually reopen, using data from the Illinois Department of Public Health.

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Where is each region?

The four regions are the Northeast, which includes Chicago and its suburbs; North-Central, which includes the northwestern part of the state, south to Peoria; Central, including Champaign and Springfield; and Southern, which encompasses East St. Louis, Carbondale, and everything south of I-70.



What are the phases?

Use the buttons below to explore each phase of the governor’s plan to reopen Illinois, and to see what each phase includes.


During this phase when the novel coronavirus is rapidly spreading, only essential businesses are in operation and activities outside of the home are limited to essentials, like grocery shopping. Read more

Gatherings: Essential gatherings, such as religious services, of 10 or fewer allowed; No non-essential gatherings of any size
Travel: Non-essential travel discouraged
Health care: Emergency procedures and COVID-19 care only
Education and child care: Remote learning in P-12 schools and higher education; Child care in groups of 10 or fewer for essential workers
Outdoor recreation: Walking, hiking and biking permitted; State parks closed
Manufacturing: Essential manufacturing only
“Non-essential” businesses: Employees of “non-essential” businesses are required to work from home except for Minimum Basic Operations
Bars and restaurants: Open for delivery, pickup and drive-through only
Entertainment: Closed
Personal care services and health clubs: Closed
Retail: Essential stores are open with strict restrictions; Non-essential stores are closed. Read less

Even though the curve is flattening, only essential business is allowed and only essential gatherings of 10 or fewer are allowed. Face coverings or masks must be worn in public when social distancing is not possible. Read more

Gatherings: Essential gatherings, such as religious services, of 10 or fewer allowed; No non-essential gatherings
Travel: Non-essential travel discouraged
Health care: Emergency and COVID-19 care continue; Elective procedures allowed once IDPH criteria met
Education and child care: Remote learning in P-12 schools and higher education; Child care in groups of 10 or fewer for essential workers
Outdoor recreation: Walking, hiking, and biking permitted; Select state parks open; Boating and fishing permitted; Golf courses open; All with IDPH approved safety guidance
Manufacturing: Essential manufacturing only
“Non-essential” businesses: Employees of “non-essential” businesses are required to work from home except for Minimum Basic Operations
Bars and restaurants: Open for delivery, pickup and drive-through only
Entertainment: Closed
Personal care services and health clubs: Closed
Retail: Essential stores are open with restrictions; Non-essential stores open for delivery and curbside pick-up. Read less

In this phase when infections are stable or declining, all gatherings of 10 or fewer are allowed and travel is allowed, but must follow guidelines. “Non-essential” employees can return to work and salons can reopen. Bars and restaurants can serve customers outdoors at limited capacities with social distancing guidelines in place, in addition to delivery and carryout. Read more

Gatherings: All gatherings of 10 people or fewer are allowed with this limit subject to change based on latest data & guidance
Travel: Travel should follow IDPH and CDC approved guidance
Health care: All health care providers are open with IDPH approved safety guidance
Education and child care: Remote learning in P-12 schools and higher education; Limited child care and summer programs open with IDPH approved safety guidance
Outdoor recreation: State parks open; Activities permitted in groups of 10 or fewer with social distancing
Manufacturing: Non-essential manufacturing that can safely operate with social distancing can reopen with IDPH approved safety guidance
“Non-essential” businesses: Employees of “non-essential” businesses are allowed to return to work with IDPH approved safety guidance depending upon risk level, tele-work strongly encouraged wherever possible; Employers are encouraged to provide accommodations for COVID-19-vulnerable employees
Bars and restaurants: Open for delivery, pickup and drive-through. Some outdoor seating with capacity limits allowed
Entertainment: Closed
Personal care services and health clubs: Barbershops and salons open with IDPH approved safety guidance; Health and fitness clubs can provide outdoor classes and one-on-one personal training with IDPH approved safety guidance
Retail: Open with capacity limits and IDPH approved safety guidance, including face coverings. Read less

Bars and restaurants can reopen for dine-in service with capacity limits, and gatherings of 50 or fewer are permitted. Movie theaters can reopen with capacity limits. Read more

Gatherings: Gatherings of 50 people or fewer are allowed with this limit subject to change based on latest data and guidance
Travel: Travel should follow IDPH and CDC approved guidance Health care: All health care providers are open
Health care: All health care providers are open with IDPH approved safety guidance
Education and child care: P-12 schools, higher education, all summer programs, and child care open with IDPH approved safety guidance
Outdoor recreation: All outdoor recreation allowed
Manufacturing: All manufacturing open with IDPH approved safety guidance
“Non-essential” businesses: All employees return to work with IDPH approved safety guidance; Employers are encouraged to provide accommodations for COVID-19-vulnerable employees
Bars and restaurants: Open with capacity limits and IDPH approved safety guidance
Entertainment: Cinema and theaters open with capacity limits and IDPH approved safety guidance
Personal care services and health clubs: All barbershops, salons, spas and health and fitness clubs open with capacity limits and IDPH approved safety guidance
Retail: Open with capacity limits and IDPH approved safety guidance. Read less

In this stage, testing and treatment are widespread, and all areas of the economy are reopened, including large gatherings and conventions of any size. Read more

All sectors of the economy reopened with businesses, schools, and recreation resuming normal operations with new safety guidance and procedures.
Conventions, festivals, and large events can take place. Read less



Northeast Region

This region is currently in . It meets of six criteria for staying in .

As part of the governor's plan, to move into , other criteria must be met:

  • Testing, tracing and treatment are widely available throughout the state.

  • A vaccine is developed to prevent additional spread, or a readily available treatment option is available or there are no new cases over a sustained period.

No vaccine or treatment option currently exists.

Below are the data points used as part of the governor's reopening plan for this region. Last updated:

Positivity percentage:
%

A 7-day rolling average, or the total confirmed cases divided by the total tests done.

Positivity percentage change:
%

The change in the positivity rate during the last 14 days of this reporting period, where negative is good.

Hospital admission change:
%

The percent change in hospital admissions since May 1.

Medical surge availability:
%

The percentage of beds available, should a surge in admissions occur.

ICU beds free:
%

The percentage of ICU beds available, should a surge occur.

Ventilators free:
%

The percentage of ventilators available, should a surge occur.

North-Central Region

This region is currently in . It meets of six criteria for staying in .

As part of the governor's plan, to move into , other criteria must be met:

  • Testing, tracing and treatment are widely available throughout the state.

  • A vaccine is developed to prevent additional spread, or a readily available treatment option is available or there are no new cases over a sustained period.

No vaccine or treatment option currently exists.

Positivity percentage:
%

A 7-day rolling average, or the total confirmed cases divided by the total tests done.

Positivity percentage change:
%

The change in the positivity rate during the last 14 days of this reporting period, where negative is good.

Hospital admission change:
%

The percent change in hospital admissions since May 1.

Medical surge availability:
%

The percentage of beds available, should a surge in admissions occur.

ICU beds free:
%

The percentage of ICU beds available, should a surge occur.

Ventilators free:
%

The percentage of ventilators available, should a surge occur.

Central Region

This region is currently in . It meets of six criteria for staying in .

As part of the governor's plan, to move into , other criteria must be met:

No vaccine or treatment option currently exists.

Below are the data points used as part of the governor's reopening plan for this region. Last updated:

Positivity percentage:
%

A 7-day rolling average, or the total confirmed cases divided by the total tests done.

Positivity percentage change:
%

The change in the positivity rate during the last 14 days of this reporting period, where negative is good.

Hospital admission change:
%

The percent change in hospital admissions since May 1.

Medical surge availability:
%

The percentage of beds available, should a surge in admissions occur.

ICU beds free:
%

The percentage of ICU beds available, should a surge occur.

Ventilators free:
%

The percentage of ventilators available, should a surge occur.

Southern Region

This region is currently in . It meets of six criteria for staying in .

As part of the governor's plan, to move into , other criteria must be met:

  • Testing, tracing and treatment are widely available throughout the state.

  • A vaccine is developed to prevent additional spread, or a readily available treatment option is available or there are no new cases over a sustained period.

No vaccine or treatment option currently exists.

Below are the data points used as part of the governor's reopening plan for this region. Last updated:

Positivity percentage:
%

A 7-day rolling average, or the total confirmed cases divided by the total tests done.

Positivity percentage change:
%

The change in the positivity rate during the last 14 days of this reporting period, where negative is good.

Hospital admission change:
%

The percent change in hospital admissions since May 1.

Medical surge availability:
%

The percentage of beds available, should a surge in admissions occur.

ICU beds free:
%

The percentage of ICU beds available, should a surge occur.

Ventilators free:
%

The percentage of ventilators available, should a surge occur.


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