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Ezike asks Illinoisans to “take it slowly” going into phase three of reopening

Ezike asks Illinoisans to “take it slowly” going into phase three of reopening

Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike urged caution Thursday as the state prepares to enter phase three of its reopening.

All four of the state’s regions remain on-track to enter phase three of Gov. JB Pritzker’s reopening plan. The phase will allow bars and restaurants to partially reopen with outdoor services, as well as manufacturing, offices, retail, barbershops and salons to reopen to the public with certain restrictions.

While still being optimistic about the state’s COVID-19 metrics, Ezike said she wanted Illinoisans to remain cautious going forward as more activities and businesses open.

“Let’s take it slowly as we go into phase three,” she said. “As we continue to learn about the virus… We want to move toward continuing the reopening, but we need to do it in a smart way and a safe way, and that means following the science.”

There remains many questions about the new coronavirus, Ezike said, such as whether an individual who had the virus can develop immunity or if their plasma or blood can be used as treatment.

“We’re trying to learn them as quickly as we can,” she said.”But we must use what we do know to be true to help protect ourselves and stop additional spread.”

State officials reported 87 more COVID-19 related deaths on Thursday, bringing the state’s total death count to 4,607. An additional 2,268 total cases were reported, bringing the state’s total to 102,686 in 100 counties.


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