(NOTE: Daily press conferences from Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot will be streamed live in the player above. Check back for updates.)
Most of Illinois entered phase three of the state’s reopening plan Friday, sparking the reopening of many businesses with capacity limitations and social distancing.
The new phase began for all of Illinois’ health regions, with the exception of Chicago, which is set to enter the next stage of its own reopening Wednesday.
Illinois has been under a stay-at-home order for more than two months, though the state began phase two of its reopening plan at the start of the month, easing few restrictions.
Here are the latest developments on the coronavirus crisis today (May 29):
Illinois Malls Begin Reopening
With Illinois now in phase three of reopening, major malls across the state have announced their plans for opening doors once again.
Though some started allowing customers as early as Friday, others have announced plans to reopen in the coming days.
But the reopenings each come with their own set of changes.
Lightfoot to Announce Chicago Streets Opening for Pedestrians, Cyclists to Use While Social Distancing
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is scheduled to announce Friday that some city streets will be opened to provide more space for pedestrians and cyclists to safely utilize while social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic.
She will make the announcement in a news conference at 1 p.m. alongside representatives of the Chicago Department of Transportation and the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection, her office said. (Watch live in the player above)
CDOT confirmed the initiative Wednesday.
Salvation Army Thrift Stores to Reopen in Illinois With Changes
After being closed for two months, Salvation Army thrift stores are preparing to reopen across Illinois next week, but there will be noticeable changes.
While suburban Chicago thrift stores will reopen on June 2, thrift stores in the city of Chicago will reopen on June 3.
All shoppers will be required to wear a mask and follow social distancing guidelines. Employees will have their temperature checked every time they report to work and have to fill out a travel questionnaire to make sure they haven’t come into contact with anyone else exhibiting coronavirus symptoms.
Store hours will be limited in order to give employees more time to thoroughly clean and disinfect stores.
You’ll also notice plexiglass shields at cash registers. Fitting rooms will remain closed, for now.
Illinois Enters Phase 3 of Reopening Plan: Here’s What’s Changing
Much of Illinois will look very different beginning Friday.
With the exception of Chicago, the state entered a third phase of reopening under the Restore Illinois plan, meaning additional businesses will be allowed to resume certain services and people can begin gathering in small groups while social distancing.
But many businesses won’t look the same as they once did. And there will still be some restrictions for residents.
Gatherings of up to 10 people will now be allowed, salons and gyms can reopen with new guidelines and restaurants will be able to offer outdoor seating.
Churches Claim Success as Pritzker Announces New Worship Guidelines
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker issued new guidelines for churches and religious services Thursday as most of the state prepares to move into Phase Three of its reopening plan.
The Illinois Department of Public Health released a nine-page document laying out recommendations – not mandates – as it relates to holding worship services.
Under modified guidelines, health officials still recommend that no more than 10 people attend a religious service, but if not possible, they said churches church limit attendance to 25% of a a building’s capacity or cap attendance at 100 individuals.
Pritzker Reveals the Earliest Illinois Could Enter Phase 4
Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced regions could potentially shift into phase four of the plan as soon as late June amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Speaking at Thursday’s press briefing, Pritzker provided insight into when the reopening plan could shift into the next stage.
“Just as this 28-day period of tracking started when we moved from phase one to phase two on May 1, our next health metrics calendar will restart tomorrow and run for the same period, meaning that regions that meet the metrics could move into Phase 4 possibly as early as Friday, June 26th,” Pritzker said.