CHICAGO, IL — Public health officials reported 2,388 new cases of COVID-19 in Illinois Wednesday, bringing the state's tally to 100,418. But Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Illinoisans are slowing the spread of the virus and bending the curve of the outbreak.
The Illinois Department of Public Health also reported 147 new coronavirus-related deaths Wednesday. To date, 4,525 Illinoisans have died after contracting the virus.
However, Pritzker said all four regions of the state are hitting the benchmarks set as part of his five-phase plan to reopen the state. He said the state has seen a reduced rate of virus spread in every region since the beginning of May.
During a briefing on the virus outbreak Wednesday, Pritzker announced changes to the next phase of his plan to reopen the state. Among those changes, Pritzker's office announced that in phase three, bars and restaurants will have the option to offer outdoor seating for patrons — with some restrictions. Tables must be 6 feet apart and away from sidewalks, and staff must continue to wear masks and adhere to social distancing measures. Pritzker's office said other guidance will be issued moving forward. Indoor dining will still be prohibited.
As phase three begins, Prtizker said all state parks will reopen on May 29. Concessions at those parks will be able to reopen as well, following guidelines set for retail and food services. Indoor and outdoor tennis facilities will be allowed to open following IDPH rules and capacity restrictions.
In phase three, groups of 10 people or less will be allowed to gather. With that in mind, golf courses will be able to host foursomes, and golfers will be able to use carts — so long as they stick to one person per cart or only ride in carts with people they live with. Indoor and outdoor tennis facilities will be allowed to open with public health precautions in place. People will also be allowed to go camping in groups of 10 or less.
Also in phase three, health clubs, gyms and fitness studios will be allowed to provide one-on-one personal training indoors, and they'll be able to hold outdoor fitness classes with up to 10 people.
Nail salons, tattoo shops, hair braiders, spas and barbershops will be able to open, and retail will be able to open for in-person shopping — all with IDPH safety precautions and capacity limits in place.
The governor's office says local governments have the right to put stricter restrictions in place.