SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (KFVS) - Governor JB Pritzker gave an update on Illinois’ COVID-19 response at the Capitol in Springfield on Friday, May 22 at 2:30 p.m.
During the briefing, Governor Pritzker announced the state’s plan for a gradual reopening of child care in Phase 3 and 4 of Restore Illinois.
As of Friday, the governor said Illinois has not seen significant transmission of COVID-19 in child care settings. However, public health experts note that there is still more to learn about the virus, its impact on children and how it spreads. Therefore, the state is implementing a cautious approach.
Based on the advice of public health experts, the new group size limits will be about 30 percent lower than their pre-pandemic levels for centers. For licensed homes that tend to be smaller, most will be able to operate at standard capacity.
He said those that have been operating as emergency child care providers can move immediately to the new maximum capacities when their region enters Phase 3. Most licensed child care homes will also be able to reopen to their licensed capacity.
The state is encouraging all of the currently closed licensed child care providers to reopen when their region moves to Phase 3. They must develop a reopening plan that ensures they have revised operational and preparedness policies in place before reopening.
The newly reopened facilities will have reduced capacity, of no more than 10 children per classroom, for the first four weeks. Once they have followed the new health, social distancing and sanitation routines and guidelines, they will be able to expand to larger group sizes, though not their full licensed capacity.
There will be no restrictions on which families can use child care in Phases 3 and 4.
The Illinois Department of Public Health announced 2,758 new positive cases, including 110 additional deaths on Friday, May 22.
Currently, 105,444 Illinoisans have tested positive for COVID-19, with 4,715 deaths.
At least 697,133 individuals have been tested for the virus in Illinois.