"I think we're adults, and businesses can decide whether they want to open or not, as long as they do it in a safe manner," said Alderman Larry Cox.
"I definitely think it's time to reopen," said Alderman Bradley Hix.
Pritchard said Knox County has met the criteria to move onto the next phase of the governor's reopening plan for weeks. The wider "North-Central" region also hits the marks needed to begin reopening salons, barbershops, and other businesses with social distancing restrictions on May 29. But the Heart of Illinois plan would allow bars and restaurants to reopen at reduced occupancy more than a month earlier than Pritzker's statewide plan.
"We are seeing businesses crushed, peoples' lives crushed. And we have to be able to manage the virus and manage the economy at the same time. And I think we can do so," he said. "It's not an either-or choice. It's managing both situations."
The governor signaled Monday that he was unlikely to break down the large North-Central health region into smaller subregions that can reopen more quickly.
Knox County has 88 confirmed positive COVID-19 cases. 1,337 tests have been conducted. There are 160 cases in Peoria County, 63 in Tazewell, and 17 in Woodford.
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