Restructuring the Regions: Gov. J.B. Pritzker unveils new three-tier plan to help in fight against COVID-19

Published: Jul. 15, 2020 at 6:56 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - In his first COVID briefing since the start of phase four, Governor J.B. Pritzker lays out a new plan to keep Illinois on the right track of combating the coronavirus.

"We have one of the lowest positivity rates in the country and it's because of the individual actions of millions of our residents," said Pritzker.

Holding the first coronavirus briefing since the start of phase four, Governor J.B. Pritzker and state health officials unveil a three-tier approach to fighting COVID-19, with the expansion to 11 state regions.

"While there can be adjustments to allow greater flexibility for businesses and individuals, we cannot reach Phase 5 until we have a vaccine, a very effective treatment or the elimination of new cases over a sustained period of time," said Pritzker.

Decisions on how and when schools can welcome back students are in the hands of local leaders. Pritzker says communities have a responsibility to follow state classroom guidelines to ensure the safety of all those who look for a quality education.

"Any district that intends to disregard this guidance is gambling with the lives of our children, teachers, and families," said Pritzker.

Local government and public health leaders echo the governor's sentiments, saying the new mitigation plan is a necessary step to keep Illinois on the right track.

"All people have sacrificed. We must now continue to remain vigilant. Now's not the time to get tired," said Mayor Tom McNamara.

"We're all working together to keep those rates low and not have to take steps backwards," said Amanda Mehl, Boone County Public Health Administrator.

Our nine regional health systems are banding together to help Stateliners in the fight against COVID-19, urging residents to protect their communities, manage their risk and answer the call in doing what they can to stop the spread of the virus.

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