Restore Illinois – A Public Health Approach To Safely Reopen Our State

From the beginning of the new coronavirus pandemic, Illinois’ response has been guided by data, science, and public health experts. As community spread rapidly increased, Governor Pritzker moved quickly to issue a Disaster Proclamation on March 9, restrict visitors to nursing homes on March 11, close bars and restaurants for on-site consumption on March 16, move schools to remote learning on March 17, and issue a Stay at Home order on March 21. This virus has caused painful, cascading consequences for everyone in Illinois, but the science has been clear: in the face of a new coronavirus with unknown characteristics and in the absence of widespread testing availability and contact tracing, mitigation and maintaining a 6-foot social distance have been the only options to reduce the spread and save as many lives as possible.

Millions of Illinoisans working together by staying at home and following experts’ recommendations have proven these mitigation and social distancing measures effective so far. The result has been a lower infection rate, fewer hospitalizations, and lower number of fatalities than projected without these measures. Our curve has begun to flatten. Nevertheless, the risk of spread remains, and modeling and data point to a rapid surge in new cases if all mitigation measures were to be immediately lifted.

Now that Illinois is bending the curve, it is vitally important that we follow a safe and deliberate path forward to get our Illinois economy moving. That path forward is not what everyone wants or hopes for, but it will keep Illinoisans as safe as possible from this virus as our economy is reopening.

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