What Does ‘Phase 4’ Mean For Rosemont?


Lauren Barry | Journal & Topics

Illinois is expected to enter phase four of the “Restore Illinois” plan this week, according to Gov. JB Pritzker.

What does this mean for Des Plaines and Rosemont?

It could mean the return of indoor dining, movie theaters, outdoor recreation, in-person classes and more, with groups of 50 or less gathered together at the same time.

“Restore Illinois” is a five-phase plan for reopening the state following the “stay-at-home” order instituted in March to slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

When the order was announced, restaurants were forced to close dining rooms and could only offer delivery or pickup services. This month, outdoor dining with specific guidelines was allowed to resume.

Restaurants and other businesses that could, put up tents and assembled outdoor dining areas. However, inclement weather can close down most dining-out options.

Currently, the state is in phase three of the plan, also known as the “recovery” phase. In this phase, gatherings are limited to a maximum of 10, fitness classes are only allowed outdoors and schools are closed for in-person classes. Other businesses, such as manufacturing sites, retail stores and salons, are allowed to be open with limited capacity and strict adherence to Illinois Dept. of Public Health (IDPH) guidelines.

In order to progress into each new Restore Illinois phase, specific goals must be met. Types of data recorded by the IDPH to determine if these goals have been met include positivity rates -- the percentage of positive results from all testing -- overall increase of cases, hospitalizations for COVID-19 like illnesses, hospital surge capacities, available testing and contact tracing.

Moving into phase four requires a positivity rate of 20% or under (increasing no more than 10 percentage points over a 14-day period), no increases in hospital admissions for 28 days, a 14% hospital surge capacity, available testing in all areas, and contract tracing for 90% of cases within 24 hours of diagnosis.

As of Monday (June 22) the Northeast region of the state, which includes all of the Journal & Topics coverage area, had a 5% positivity rate, a 5% decrease in positivity rates over the past 14 days, an 85% decrease in hospital admissions over the past 28 days, 34% surge capacity, 43% ICU bed capacity and 73% ventilator availability, according to IDPH. Other regions of Illinois have seen similar numbers.

Once in phase four, all healthcare facilities and schools can open with limited capacity. Non-essential retail, manufacturing, cinemas, restaurants, salons and fitness centers can also reopen with limited capacity if they follow IDPH safety guidelines.

There are three scenarios that could move into the final “Illinois restored” phase of Restore Illinois: a COVID-19 vaccine becoming widely available, effective treatment being widely available, or sustained elimination of new cases through herd immunity.

In phase five, all sectors of the economy would be open to pre-pandemic levels along with schools. Concerts and other events with large crowds would also be able to take place.

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