Illinois entering Phase 4 of recovery plan

Abigail McArthur-Self, Editor-in-Chief

Since March, Illinois has been following a variety of shut-down procedures in order to slow the transmission of COVID-19. The “Restore Illinois” plan by the governor aims to guide the state through handling the disease. 

The plan has divided the state into four different regions — the Northeast Region, the North-Central Region, the Central Region, and the Southern Region. These boundaries were created by grouping counties and are used for data collection and decision making. DuPage county is part of the Northeast Region. 

The plan contains five phases. The phases each included different levels of restrictions and guidelines for health requirements to operate in that phase. These health requirements look at factors like testing availability, number of cases and hospital/supply availability. Although the goal is to move into later phases, it is possible to move back if the data no longer suggests that a current phase is manageable. All four regions of Illinois are currently entering Phase 4.


Phase One: Rapid Spread

This phase involves strict social distancing, stay-at-home orders and the closure of all non-essential businesses. Facial coverings are expected in buildings and public areas where social distancing is not possible. 

This phase is meant to combat the rapid spread of the virus. It can be moved on from when spread has slowed. 


Phase Two: Flattening

This phase involves the previous measures, however non-essential businesses that can operate through curbside pick-up and/or delivery can open. Increased outdoor recreational activities are allowed. Social distancing and/or facial covering is expected. 

This phase is meant to “flatten the curve,” and keep cases from overflowing hospitals. It can be moved on from when the daily number of new cases has stopped rising. 


Phase Three: Recovery

This phase allows businesses such as “manufacturing, offices, retail, barbershops, and salons,” to open provided they take precautions to limit capacity. People are allowed to meet in groups of 10 or fewer people. Social distancing and/or facial covering is expected.

This phase is meant to help the economy and individuals recover while keeping cases manageable. This phase can be moved on from when proper testing has been assured and cases continue to fall in the recommended range. 


Phase Four: Revitalization

This phase allows restaurants and bars to open, individuals to travel, and childcare centers and schools to reopen under provided guidelines. People are allowed to meet in groups of 50 or fewer people. Social distancing and/or facial covering is expected. 

This phase can be moved on from when a vaccine or effective treatment option is available. 


Phase Five: Restored

This phase allows the economy to reopen and events/gatherings to happen with safety precautions. This is the final phase. 


Although many states have planned 14-day intervals, based on what’s known of the asymptomatic time for COVID-19. Illinois is currently using 28-day intervals, which would allow for two full incubation periods of the virus in each phase before moving ahead. 

Recently, because Illinois is on track medically for Phase Four, some have suggested moving to the next phase now. Governor J.B. Pritzker is currently maintaining the original schedule. 

More information on the medical statistics is available at

More information on the plan and its guidelines is available at This site also offers the businesses/organizations affected by each stage change guidelines and recommendations for following the rules of the phase.