Governor JB Pritzker's Restore Illinois plan moves into the next to last, and probably longest phase beginning today, so here's a quick primer on Phase-4 reopening.

You might be wondering why Phase-4 (Revitalization) will probably be the longest of the 5 phases in the plan. Well, in order for Phase-5 (Illinois Restored) to begin is with a vaccine, or a widely available and highly effective treatment, or with the elimination of any new cases over a sustained period.

Looking at our current situation, that may take a while.

In the meanwhile, here's a breakdown of what's going on with Phase-4, according to the Restore Illinois website:

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

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

Businesses:

  • 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
  • Personal care services and health clubs: All barbershops, salons, spas and health and fitness clubs open with capacity limits and IDPH approved safety guidance
  • Entertainment: Cinema and theaters open with capacity limits and IDPH approved safety guidance
  • Retail: Open with capacity limits and IDPH approved safety guidance

How we move to the next phase:

Post-pandemic: Vaccine, effective and widely available treatment, or the elimination of new cases over a sustained period of time through herd immunity or other factors.

What could cause us to move back:

IDPH will closely monitor data and receive on-the-ground feedback from local health departments and regional healthcare councils and will recommend moving back to the previous phase based on the following factors:

  • Sustained rise in positivity rate
  • Sustained increase in hospital admissions for COVID-19 like illness
  • Reduction in hospital capacity threatening surge capabilities
  • Significant outbreak in the region that threatens the health of the region