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WGLT's reporting on the coronavirus pandemic, which began in McLean County in March 2020.

State Releases Business And Workplace Reopening Guidelines

PRitzker in studio
Cindy Le
Gov. JB Pritzker cautioned residents to be careful and safe as reopening proceeds and the coronavirus remains present.

Gov. JB Pritzker released industry-specific guidelines Sunday that tell businesses what they must do in the next phase of reopening during the pandemic.

All four regions of the state are on track to advance to Phase 3 of the plan in the coming days, said Pritzker. Retail, offices, manufacturing, barbershops and salons, summer programs, various outdoor recreation activities and bars and restaurants for outdoor dining will all be able to resume business in some form under the plan.

“In every aspect of our pandemic response, and especially as we begin to safely reopen meaningful swaths of our economy, our number one priority must be the health and safety of our workers, our customers, and Illinoisans at large,” said Pritzker. “You can’t build a strong economy if people aren’t comfortable being a part of it.”

The governor’s office estimated about 700,000 Illinoisans will be able to return to the workplace, with a potential 20 percent, or $150 billion in annual GDP, economic impact.

He cautioned the coronavirus will still be widespread in the state after the next phase, and advised residents to be cautious.

The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) also developed a downloadable toolkit for businesses to help them re-open while complying with the new guidelines. The toolkit includes signage, training checklists and other resources.

Phase 3 also will permit: small group gatherings of 10 or fewer people; participation in select sports and outdoor activities, including tennis, boating and camping; and other activities where safe social distancing can be practiced.

“All manufacturing in Illinois will be able to operate under these guidelines,” said Illinois Manufacturer’s Association CEO Mark Denzler. “Manufacturers look forward to releasing their collective economic might to help our economy recover.”

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