(The Center Square
) – Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Monday he has had some preliminary discussions with industry leaders on how to go about re-opening the state when it is time to lift the existing stay-at-home order, which has shuttered large swathes of the state’s economy.
The governor said the priority would be the health of employees.
“I have been talking to industry leaders because the most important thing is safety and health,” Pritzker said. “People are going back to work and if we are going to open up an opportunity for people, will they feel safe?”
Pritzker said it was possible employees would be asked to wear a mask when they return to work.
Pritzker said that “adjustments” could be made to the state’s stay-at-home order after May 1 depending on a number of factors.
“I think it’s likely that there will be adjustments to the orders that we’ve put in place,” the governor said in response to a question about if schools would reopen next month.
Pritzker said a return to normalcy would require treatment for COVID-19, widespread testing, herd immunity, and improved contract tracing. With none of those things likely to be in place by the end of the month, re-opening Illinois could take time.
“I think nothing that happens next month or the month after that is going to be exactly the way it was four months ago or five months ago, so the question is really not could you do this or that, the question is how would you do it practically speaking so that you don’t have many more people getting infected?” he said.
Pritzker also said no decision had been made on whether to reopen schools.
Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike on Monday reported 1,173 new cases of COVID-19, including 74 additional deaths.
Statewide, health officials had confirmed a total of 22,025 cases, including 794 deaths, as of Monday. Cases had been reported in 87 of the state’s 102 counties as of Monday. Johnson County was the latest county to join that list. Currently, IDPH is reporting a total of 22,025 cases, including 794 deaths, in 87 counties in Illinois.
Reporting by Kevin Bessler and Brett Rowland
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