State Expands Mobile Testing Capacity

Read a Wednesday (July 8) press release from Governor J.B. Pritzker’s office:

Mobile sites will bring testing to areas most in need; Illinois National Guard to transition state-run testing sites to contract workers

Governor JB Pritzker announced the expansion of the state’s mobile testing operation with twelve COVID-19 mobile testing teams operating throughout Illinois. These twelve teams will offer mobile testing to residents in hard-hit communities and visit facilities like homeless services centers and nursing homes. The mobile testing sites offer drive-through and walk-up tests free of charge to any Illinois resident who wants to be tested. In addition to the site operating at Coles Elementary, the remaining testing sites are located in Rock Island, Cicero, Brighton Park, Springfield, and East St. Louis.

“We now have 12 mobile teams that can be moved anywhere on any given day to mitigate and suppress emerging outbreaks, including places like meatpacking plants, nursing homes, migrant worker housing and other communities less able to access traditional testing clinics. That puts us on the cutting edge nationally in flexible testing to meet the demands of a more open economy – and I’m thrilled that Illinois is leading the way,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “And to be clear, these mobile teams are in addition to our 11 free, state-run drive through and walk up testing sites across the state. Illinois has built one of the largest testing programs in the nation, and that’s partly the reason we have made so much progress fighting COVID-19 statewide. Performing nearly 30,000 tests per day allows us to monitor the progress of our mitigation strategies, target our testing toward vulnerable populations, and reduce the spread of this virus.”

“Conditions here in Illinois have improved, but I urge everyone to remain vigilant,” said Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health Dr. Ngozi Ezike. “We are seeing an increase in new cases in younger populations as more social gatherings and group events occur. We know that some individuals with COVID-19 have no or very mild symptoms.  Because of that, it is important to test those who may have had a higher risk of exposure, such as being in a larger group or not being able to social distance from people.  Please wait at least 1 week after the exposure to get tested, if symptoms have not developed.  Please continue to follow all safety guidelines Wash your hands. Wear a face covering. Watch your distance. And take advantage of the expanded access to testing to make sure you are keeping yourself and your loved ones healthy and safe.”

Governor Pritzker also announced more than 500 Illinois National Guard (ILNG) members will conclude their missions at the eleven state-run testing sites this month, with contract staffers supporting those sites going forward. The ILNG has operated the community-based testing sites since March 23rd and has administered over 200,000 tests in that time. Approximately 100 Guard members will remain on duty through the end of July to assist with the transition and other COVID-19 related missions. After turn-over of the testing sites, ILNG service members will be quarantined for two weeks in accordance with recommendations from the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH).

COVID-19 On College Campuses

What will college look like in the fall? That’s a question university officials across the state are working to answer. For many, it seems like a mix of in-person and online classes may be the answer. Meanwhile, online classes might complicate the school year for international students. That’s because of new guidance from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Model Simulates How Quickly COVID-19 Can Spread On A College Campus

Ryan Denham reports:

A new model is cautiously optimistic about a university’s ability to control the spread of COVID-19 this fall—but that hinges largely on how much students socialize off-campus.

The model simulates a residential university with around 20,000 students and 2,500 instructors—not too dissimilar from Illinois State University. The researchers ran the model with and without different interventions to see how quickly COVID-19 would spread over a 100-day period. Their “baseline” interventions included moving all classes with 30+ students online, universal mask-wearing that is enforced, daily randomized testing of 3% of the university community, and other measures.

If those interventions are all in place, the model showed less than 66 infections in more than 95% of simulations.

Read the full story here.

ICE Forbids International Students From Taking Only Online Classes, Threatens Deportation

Lee Gaines reports:

The federal government  issued new rules Monday requiring international students to take in-person classes during the fall 2020 semester in order to remain lawfully in the U-S. The guidance from ICE states that students on F-1 visas cannot live in the US if their college or university moves entirely to  online instruction. They can stay enrolled but will have to complete their courses in their home country. Or transfer to a school that allows them to take in-person classes. The University of Illinois’ Urbana campus has one of the highest percentages of international student enrollment in the country. A spokesperson says they’re reviewing the guidance and will communicate with affected international students. The U of I plans to offer both online and in-person instruction, with reduced face-to-face class sizes.

Read the full story here.

Update: Statewide COVID-19 Numbers

From https://coronavirus.illinois.gov. Updated Monday, July 6 at 2:30 pm.

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) today announced 614 new confirmed cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Illinois, including 6 additional confirmed deaths.

– Champaign County: 1 female 70s, 1 male 80s
– Cook County: 2 male 60s, 1 female 80s
– DeKalb County: 1 female 90

Currently, IDPH is reporting a total of 147,865 cases, including 7,026 deaths, in 102 counties in Illinois. The age of cases ranges from younger than one to older than 100 years.  Within the past 24 hours, laboratories have reported 21,134 specimens for a total of 1,782,840.  The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity for cases as a percent of total test from June 29 -July 5 is 2.6%.

Statewide Coronavirus Updates

Credit: coronavirus.illinois.gov

PRITZKER ADMINISTRATION ANNOUNCES $250 MILLION IN ADDITIONAL RELIEF TO ASSIST COMMUNITIES WITH COVID-19 EMERGENCY RESPONSE

(Read the full press release here)

Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) today announced the State will expedite a portion of Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) dollars designated for local governments by the federal CARES Act. Through the Local Coronavirus Urgent Remediation Emergency (Local CURE) Support Program, the State will take steps to deploy $250 million to local governments in the coming months. The additional state relief funds will help local governments secure reimbursement on eligible costs associated with the emergency response to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

We know that Illinois municipalities, counties, and local health departments have stepped up to take on significant costs throughout the COVID-19 pandemic – costs no one could have planned or budgeted for,” said Governor Pritzker. “From the beginning of this crisis, my administration has worked steadfastly to provide assistance and support to the communities hit hardest by this virus. While there’s no question that more federal funds are needed to support vital local services like education, the Local CURE Program will provide much-needed relief for Illinois communities until an agreement is reached.”

In the coming weeks, DCEO will administer funds from the Local CURE program to reimburse units of local governments in nearly 100 counties across the state. In rules filed with the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules, DCEO has developed a per capita and needs-based formula for allocating the Local CURE funding.

Some Concerned Parents Are Choosing To Homeschool During The Pandemic

WNIJ‘s Peter Medlin reports:

Illinois recently released guidelines for schools to return in-person this fall. Some concerned parents are choosing to homeschool their kids this year rather than send them back to in-person classes during COVID-19.

Listen to this story

Brandi Poreda has homeschooled three of her kids over the last 20 years. She said the biggest advantage of homeschooling is flexibility.

Her first piece of advice to parents homeschooling for the first time? Don’t try to replicate the public school classroom experience.

“Typically, you can get done in a few hours what takes an entire day in a school classroom because they have so many other things to deal with,” said Poreda.

That means the schedule doesn’t have to be as rigid. She also recommends starting off with subjects both the parents and students enjoy, so they can feed off each other’s enthusiasm.

The curriculum can also be more easily curated. Poreda said parents can purchase expensive, pre-written classes or they can get creative.

Nikki Atterberry and Brad Brad are homeschooling their twin 5-year-old boys. They thought about giving their kids the option to go to public school this year but decided against it because of the pandemic.

Nikki was homeschooled growing up. She recommends that parents test the waters to find a Facebook group with local homeschool families.

She said having a support system will help parents become better teachers and also give students the social opportunities some might worry they could miss out on if they’re not in public school.

“Help your child grow, not just learn things,” said Atterberry. “I can see different things in each of my children and see how they respond to things and react and I can adjust accordingly how I’m teaching them.”

Atterberry and Poreda said there are plenty of options to meet other homeschool families and engage with your community.

They also said to check libraries, local museums and YMCAs to find programs that can supplement in-home learning.  

Nikki’s husband Brad also works as a para-educator at a public school. He said he tries to take the teaching skills he sees in schools back home and bring the relaxed atmosphere of his home to the public school.

Atterberry said she thinks if parents knew how enriching it would be for them and their kids, more people might do it.

Kishwaukee College announces plan for Fall 2020

Current details on the college’s plans for the fall:

Kishwaukee College will be open for classes for the Fall 2020 semester. As the State of Illinois begins to re-open, Kishwaukee College is planning to bring some students, faculty and staff back to campus. The current plan is to offer the majority of classes online, with some lab and career and technical education courses on campus following CDC and Illinois Department of Public Health guidelines.

There are three types of courses for the fall:

1. Online/Online. These courses will be offered in a traditional online format. Students complete coursework at any time of day that works best for them.

2. Online/synchronous. These courses are online at a particular time, with scheduled virtual class meetings that students will attend via computer, providing live interaction between instructor and students. “Online/synchronous” class sessions will meet during the times listed on course schedule for those sections.

3. Hybrid. These courses will combine online lecture with limited on-campus meetings in labs, shops and studio art. These on-campus meetings will occur during the times listed on course schedule.

Kish is committed to providing quality, affordable education to students in a safe environment.  “We are looking forward to welcoming students back to campus in the fall with new safety guidelines and reduced capacity on campus and in the classroom,” said Kish College president, Dr. Laurie Borowicz. “With the current plan, the College will be prepared to make quick adjustments to the course schedule and College operations should there be further disruptions if a surge in COVID-19 should happen.”

With all courses having an online component, the College is committed to providing the necessary tools and resources needed for student success in the online environment. Having access to the required technology is key. The College has Chromebooks and laptops available for check out for students who do not have access to a computer. In addition, the College campus will be open during set hours for students needing access to the internet.

Gov. Pritzker Announces Guidelines for Illinois Education Institutions

Read details from the Governor’s Office:

Administration to Provide 2.5 Million Face Masks to Every K-12 Public School District for Students, Staff

Financial Assistance Available for Students Returning to Colleges and Universities

Chicago — Today, Governor JB Pritzker announced guidelines that will allow K-12 schools, community colleges, and higher education institutions to safely resume in person instruction for the upcoming academic year. To help schools meet these guidelines and prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) will provide public K-12 districts in Illinois with 2.5 million cloth face masks, allowing K-12 schools to provide a cloth face mask to all students and staff.

The governor was joined by Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike, Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) Director Dr. Carmen Ayala, Illinois Association of School Boards Executive Director Tom Bertrand, Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE) Executive Director Ginger Ostro and Illinois Community College Board (ICCB) Executive Director Dr. Brian Durham for today’s announcement. This guidance follows the release of industry-specific guidelines for Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois Plan, announced yesterday.

“Classroom learning provides necessary opportunities for our students to learn, socialize, and grow. The benefits of in-person instruction can’t be overstated,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “Today ISBE, IBHE, and ICCB are issuing guidance that will serve as baseline public health requirements and expectations for the return of in-person learning this fall in P-12 schools and higher education, including all public school districts, non-public schools, colleges and universities. In close consultation with IDPH, infectious disease experts at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and other public health professionals, the guidance focuses on keeping students, teachers and families healthy and safe. It recognizes that Illinois is a diverse state, and school districts and institutions of higher education across Illinois will face unique challenges in how they’ll operate within their communities.”

The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) received $569 million in federal funding from the CARES Act for K-12 education, approximately $512 million of which will go directly to school districts to address local needs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. IBSE will use the remaining $54.1 million to provide additional funding to schools in six categories: laptops and tablets, internet connectivity, virtual coaching for teachers, professional development, and support for entities who cannot receive direct funds due to ineligibility for Title I.

Local education agencies must apply to ISBE to receive funding from the CARES Act and the amount received will be based on the number and percentage of low-income students they serve. ISBE has already received applications from 580 local education agencies for this funding, with the goal of purchasing a variety of tools and resources, including technology devices, WiFi hotspots, and health and safety equipment for schools in need. Local school districts also plan to use funding to hire mental health support staff to provide services for students, families, and staff. ISBE has approved 534 applications thus far and distributed nearly three million dollars in funds.

GUIDANCE FOR K-12 SCHOOLS

The guidance released by ISBE and IDPH today allows schools to bring students back to school buildings in the fall while ensuring the health and safety of students and staff remains the top priority. The guidance was developed in collaboration with 56 educators, superintendents, social workers, nurses, and other stakeholders from across the state. View the guidance here.

“Nothing compares to face-to-face interactions between students and their teachers,” said State Superintendent of Education Dr. Carmen I. Ayala. “The dedication of Illinoisans to social distancing over the past several months has allowed us to plan to bring students back to classrooms this fall while keeping health and safety our number one priority. This fall will not be ‘business as usual’ in more ways than one. Our students will return to us transformed and hungry for knowledge that contextualizes current events. I urge schools to use summer to readjust curricula to honor these historic times and to continue to be diligent in following safety protocols.”

Each school district will determine how to implement the guidance based on its unique student enrollment, school facilities, staffing, transportation, and technological capacity. ISBE strongly encourages schools and districts to provide in-person instruction for all students, especially those under age 13, to ensure children have rich instructional environments.

The IDPH requirements for schools to reopen in Phase 4 are:

  • Require use of appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), including face coverings;
  • Prohibit more than 50 individuals from gathering in one space;
  • Require social distancing whenever possible;
  • Conduct symptom screenings and temperature checks or require self-certification that individuals entering school buildings are symptom free; and 
  • Increase schoolwide cleaning and disinfection.

To ensure Illinois school districts are able to obtain the necessary supplies to resume in person instruction safely, ISBE and the Chief Procurement Office Bureau of Strategic Sourcing have secured several joint purchase agreements that K-12 can utilize to obtain supplies at prices that may be more competitive than purchasing on their own. ISBE will continue to expand the number of purchasing agreements in the coming weeks.

“In developing this guidance, we have put a focus on making sure in-person instruction is done safely and in an equitable way,” said Brenda Calvin, principal of Sauk Elementary School in Matteson and a member of the Transition Advisory Workgroup. “As a principal, I am looking forward to seeing students and teachers back in the classroom, and this document provides administrators across the state with the guidance and support they need to plan for the fall, no matter what their school looks like. I thank ISBE, IDPH, and Governor Pritzker for continuing to emphasize equity as we return to in-person instruction and for continuing to care for the well-being of all students in the state of Illinois.”

“The Phase 4 guidance for schools focuses on the unique context of the 852 school districts in the state of Illinois,” said Dr. Jennifer Garrison, superintendent of Vandalia Community Unit School District 203. “We acknowledge and thank the Governor’s Office for the emphasis on local control. We must focus on the safety of our staff and students first and foremost and at the same time be creative in how we return to learning in-person, specifically in Vandalia Schools. The opportunity to have a seat at the table and bring the downstate rural voice to the table is greatly appreciated. As educators, we have had many challenges before, and now is our time to turn the challenges before us into a unique opportunity to innovate with a laser-like focus on equity.”

“I am grateful that ISBE reached out to a variety of education stakeholders in developing this transition plan,” said Lindsey Jensen, 2018 Illinois Teacher of the Year, member of the Transition Advisory Workgroup, and teacher at Dwight Township High School. “In these unprecedented times, we are each other’s greatest resource. Having a variety of voices at the proverbial table ensures that we are considering all facets of education so that we can equitably meet the needs of all students when they return to our buildings.”

GUIDANCE FOR HIGHER EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS

The Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE) established guidelines for higher education institutions to safely reopen their classrooms based on input from IDPH and higher education leaders throughout Illinois. When students return to campus this fall, they can expect new prevention measures from colleges and universities including social distancing, physical spacing, hand sanitizing stations, face covering requirements, and regular monitoring of students for symptoms of COVID-19.

Schools are developing policies around traffic flow, cleaning of public spaces, and staggered schedules for the use of laboratories, auditoriums and other group facilities. Small-group sessions and meetings with professors will also have to adhere to social distancing guidelines. Nevertheless, colleges expect dormitories, cafeterias, libraries, bookstores, and other amenities of college life to be available to students, subject to the approved guidelines.

“The path to personal success runs right through our schools, classrooms, colleges and universities. A good education means a good future for you and your families. When the economy rebounds, we want our students to be prepared for those jobs and that means–stay the course and stay in school,” said Ginger Ostro, IBHE Executive Director.

The full list of guidelines is available at The Illinois Board of Higher Education website.

COMMUNITY COLLEGES

As each region across the state prepares to enter Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois plan, Illinois community colleges are committed to welcoming students back to campus in the fall of 2020.

“The Illinois Community College Board’s guidance provides community colleges with a roadmap for delivering critical instructional programs within the context of Governor Pritzker’s Restore Illinois,” said Dr. Lazaro Lopez, Chair of the ICCB.

“The guidance will assist all community colleges in the development of plans that ensure the health, safety, and support of students while continuing to provide high quality instruction,” said Dr. Brian Durham, Executive Director of the ICCB.

Guidance for Illinois’ community colleges takes into consideration where each institution is located and is separated into three main categories: General Health and Safety, Instructional Guidelines, and Student Services. Among the key recommendations are:

  • In person education will require face coverings to be worn by faculty, staff and students.
  • Community colleges should conduct health screenings on employees, students and visitors before each campus visit.
  • Community colleges should take additional measures to ensure social distancing and safety as determined by the features of spaces, learning methods, and other factors.
  • Each community college should consider the needs of vulnerable staff or students when administering guidelines.

The guidance was developed in partnership with the ICCB’s Return to Campus Committee and approved by IDPH. The full list of guidelines is available at the ICCB website.

FINANCIAL AID ASSISTANCE AND COLLEGE PLANNING

As students prepare to return to higher education institutions this fall, the administration is offering information and guidance regarding financial aid. The Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) offers assistance to students in completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or the recently launched Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid, a path to financial aid for undocumented and transgender students made possible by Governor Pritzker.

“The Illinois Student Assistance Commission is here to support students on their path to—or back to—college this fall,” said Eric Zarnikow, Executive Director of ISAC. “We continue to provide free resources to help students and families with college planning and financial aid through one-on-one assistance from the ISACorps members in their community, our call center, and the tools and resources on our website, at www.isac.org. If you need help completing your FAFSA or Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid or in seeking financial aid adjustments based on changed financial circumstances, or just aren’t sure how to find your educational path beyond high school, please contact us for assistance.”

Thousands of Illinois families are facing new financial challenges as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. If needed, students can seek an adjustment in their financial aid offers from colleges and universities for the fall based on a change in their financial circumstances. Students in need of additional financial assistance should contact the financial aid office at the colleges or universities where they are enrolled or have been admitted. ISAC is available to guide students and families through this process.

ISAC also offers additional support services like “ISAC College Q&A,” a free text messaging service that helps students stay on track with their college plans. Through ISAC College Q&A, students and families can get answers to college planning and financial aid questions, as well as reminders for important deadlines, sent directly to their phones from ISAC experts. Interested families can sign up online here. Assistance is available in English and Spanish.

Phase 4 Preview

Illinois enters Phase 4 of reopening on Friday (June 26). Restaurants, theaters, museums, and other businesses will be able to open, with safety measures in place. Read more:

Restaurants Eagerly Await Reopening This Week

By Bill Wheelhouse

The State of Illinois will enter Phase Four of its pandemic recovery plan this Friday July 26, Governor J.B. Pritzker announced.  The move comes as all areas of the state are meeting metrics for overall levels of COVID-19 and available health services for those seriously ill with the virus.

One of the most talked about aspects of the next phase is that diners will be allowed inside restaurants.  

A number of restaurants used to serving diners inside have been making a living offering curbside service.  Illinois Restaurant Association President Sam Toia said that the last 12 weeks have been devastating for business.

“We started with 594,000 people working in the industry at the beginning of the year and 321,000 are either on unemployment or furlough,” he said. “But we’re seeing some light at the end of the tunnel here as we move into Phase Four. What we see as the governor, you know, confirms that the state is ready to safely reopen, that you have to have your tables six feet apart, social distancing is very, very important.”

The association is encouraging workers to wear face coverings and gloves and to clean hands frequently.  Groups of diners will be separated by at least six feet.   Toia is also asking diners to give a bit.

“So it’s very important when you go into a restaurant you have your face cover on.  Then when you sit down you can take it off while you are eating, but if you get up to go to the restroom, you put your face covering back on,” said Toia.

Toia expects about 80% of food establishments to still be in business. 

Phase Four also means there can be larger gatherings and it will allow for the openings of fitness centers and theaters, along with zoos and museums.  Funeral homes will also be able to hold services, all with crowd limitations.

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield will reopen the museum portion on July 1.

“We are going to be selling tickets online only to reduce the contact between people here at the museum. We will have fewer showings of our theatrical presentations so that we can clean in between shows and we will ask our audience members to sit farther apart”,  said spokesman Chris Wills, who adds that face coverings will be required.  The Presidential Library portion of the facility will only be open by appointment.

“Just to make sure everything is back in top shape, we have to get all of our artifacts back in display cases, which is quite a process and a delicate one,” said Wills.

While it would be allowed, some major movie theater chains will not be open this Friday.  Regal Theaters will begin showing films July 10, while AMC is waiting until July 15 to begin showing films.

Brookfield Zoo is set for a public opening on July 8 and the Lincoln Park Zoo officially opens June 29.  

It is unknown how long Illinois will remain in the fourth phase. The Governor has said in the past that the state could remain at this level until a vaccine is developed or an effective treatment is discovered for the disease.

While scshools and colleges are still finalizing plans for the fall, moving to Phase Four was considered vital for a return to classroom instruction. 

The following was part of a Pritzker Administration news release:

Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois plan creates safety guidelines for the following permitted activities and businesses to resume, with capacity rules in place:

  • Meetings and events: Venues and meeting spaces can resume with the lesser of up to 50 people OR 50% of overall room capacity. Multiple groups are permitted given facilities have space to appropriately social distance and can limit interaction between groups. This includes activities such as conferences and weddings.
  • Indoor and Outdoor recreation: Revised guidelines to allow select indoor recreation facilities (e.g., bowling alleys, skating rinks), as well as clubhouses to reopen. Indoor recreation to operate at lesser of 50 customers OR 50% of facility capacity with outdoor recreation allowing group sizes of up to 50, and permitting multiple groups given facilities have space to appropriately social distance and can limit interaction between groups; concessions permitted with restrictions.
  • Indoor Dining: Indoor dining can reopen with groups of 10 or less, with tables spaced 6-feet apart in seated areas and with standing areas at no more than 25% of capacity.
  • Museums: Can reopen with no more than 25% occupancy, and with interactive exhibits and rides closed; guided tours should be limited to 50 people or fewer per group; museums should have a plan to limit congregation via advance ticket sales and timed ticketing; concessions permitted with restrictions.
  • Zoos: Can reopen with no more than 25% occupancy, and with interactive exhibits, indoor exhibits, and rides closed; guided tours should be limited to 50 people or fewer per group; zoos should have a plan to limit congregation via advance ticket sales and timed ticketing; concessions permitted with restrictions.
  • Cinema and Theatre: Indoor seated theaters, cinemas, and performing arts centers to allow admission of the lesser of up to 50 guests OR 50% of overall theater or performance space capacity (applies to each screening room); outdoor capacity limited to 20% of overall theater or performance space capacity; concessions permitted with restrictions.
  • Outdoor seated spectator events: Outdoor spectator sports can resume with no more than 20% of seating capacity; concessions permitted with restrictions.Film production: Allow no more than 50% of sound stage or filming location capacity; crowd scenes should be limited to 50 people or fewer.

Industries with revised guidelines in Phase 4:

  • Youth and Recreational Sports: Revised guidelines allow competitive gameplay and tournaments; youth and recreational sports venues can operate at 50% of facility capacity, 20% seating capacity for spectators, and group sizes up to 50 with multiple groups permitted during practice and competitive games given venues have space to appropriately social distance and can limit interaction between groups; concessions permitted with restrictions.
  • Health and fitness centers: Revised guidelines allow gyms to open at 50% capacity and allow group fitness classes of up to 50 people with new safety guidelines for indoors, with multiple groups permitted given facilities have space to appropriately social distance and can limit interaction between groups.
  • Day camps: Water-based activities permitted in accordance with IDPH guidelines; no more than 50% of facility capacity with group size of no more than 15 participants in a group, unless participants changing weekly.
  • Additionally, retail, service counters, offices, personal care (including salons, barber, nail salons), manufacturing and other industries allowed to reopen in Phase 3 will continue to operate at a reduced capacity.

462 New Confirmed Covid-19 Cases

As Illinois prepares to enter the next phase of re-opening, there are still hundreds of new cases of COVID-19 reported each day in the state.

Claire Buchanan reports

In the latest daily report, The Illinois Department of Public Health announced 462 new confirmed cases of coronavirus disease in Illinois. There were 26 additional confirmed deaths.

Cook County continues to lead the state in the number of deaths from the virus.

To date, there have been more than 66-hundred deaths related to coronavirus. Cases have been reported in nearly all of the state’s counties.

The health department is now reporting both confirmed and probable cases and deaths on its website. State officials say reporting probable cases could help show the potential burden of the COVID-19 illness overall.