In conjunction with today’s announcement, the
Governor released modeling today put together by top academic
institutions and researchers in Illinois that predicts the course of
coronavirus in the state over the coming months. On our current
trajectory, the state is projected to see a peak or plateau of
deaths per day between late April and early May, but if the stay at
home order were lifted this week, the model anticipates a second
wave of the outbreak in Illinois starting in May, which would claim
tens of thousands of lives and greatly exceed the state’s hospital
“Make no mistake, Illinois has saved lives. By staying home and
social distancing, we have kept our infection and death rates for
the months of March and April thousands below the rates projected
had we not implemented these mitigation strategies,” said Governor
JB Pritzker. “I know how badly we all want our normal lives back.
But this is the part where we have to dig in and understand that the
sacrifices we’ve made as a state to avoid a worst-case scenario are
working — and we need to keep going a little while longer to finish
MODIFIED STAY AT HOME ORDER
Lifting mitigation measures is only possible with widespread
availability and access to COVID-19 testing, tracing and treatment.
The data show that if the state were to lift mitigations abruptly
this week, this would result in a second wave of infections,
hospitalizations and deaths.
After consulting with doctors, scientists and experts in Illinois
and across the world, the Governor has announced he will sign a
modified version of the state’s stay at home order that will go into
effect on May 1 and extend through the end of the month. The
modified order will strengthen the state’s social distancing
requirements while allowing residents additional flexibility and
provide measured relief to non-essential businesses in the safest
The new executive order will include the following modifications
effective May 1:
State parks will begin a phased re-opening under guidance from the
Department of Natural Resources. Fishing and boating in groups of no
more than two people will be permitted. A list of parks that will be
open on May 1 and additional guidelines can be found on the Illinois
Department of Natural Resources website HERE . Golf will be
permitted under strict safety guidelines provided by the Illinois
Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) and when
ensuring that social distancing is followed.
NEW ESSENTIAL BUSINESSES:
Greenhouses, garden centers and nurseries may re-open as
essential businesses. These stores must follow social distancing
requirements and must require that employees and customers wear a
face covering. Animal grooming services may also re-open.
Retail stores not designated as non-essential
businesses and operations may re-open to fulfill telephone and
online orders through pick-up outside the store and delivery.
Beginning on May 1, individuals will be required
to wear a face-covering or a mask when in a public place where they
can’t maintain a six-foot social distance. Face-coverings will be
required in public indoor spaces, such as stores. This new
requirement applies to all individuals over the age of two who are
able to medically tolerate a face-covering or a mask.
ESSENTIAL BUSINESSES AND MANUFACTURING:
Essential businesses and manufacturers will be
required to provide face-coverings to all employees who are not able
to maintain six-feet of social distancing, as well as follow new
requirements that maximize social distancing and prioritize the
well-being of employees and customers. This will include occupancy
limits for essential businesses and precautions such as staggering
shifts and operating only essential lines for manufacturers.
Educational institutions may allow and establish
procedures for pick-up of necessary supplies or student belongings.
Dormitory move-outs must follow public health guidelines, including
The Illinois Department
of Public Health will also be issuing guidance to surgi-centers and
hospitals to allow for certain elective surgeries for
non-life-threatening conditions, starting on May 1. Facilities will
need to meet specific criteria, including proper PPE, ensuring
enough overall space for COVID-19 patients remains available, and
testing of elective surgery patients to ensure COVID-19 negative
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MODELING COVID-19 IN ILLINOIS
While earlier projections relied on data from other countries
applied to the United States, the modeling released today analyzes
two months’ worth of daily data on COVID-19 deaths and ICU usage
here in Illinois.
Top researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign,
the Northwestern School of Medicine, the University of Chicago, the
Chicago and Illinois Departments of Public Health, along with
McKinsey and Mier Consulting Group working on behalf of the City of
Chicago and Cook County, worked on these projections as a cohort
under Civis Analytics, a data analytics firm with experience
spanning the public and private sectors.
According to the state model, the stay at home order is having its
intended effect of flattening the curve in Illinois.
Without the stay at home order, the model estimates there would have
been 10 to 20 times as many deaths to date and that the peak death
rate and peak resource usage would have been 20 to 30 times what we
will see with mitigation. Moreover, these counts do not account for
deaths due to lack of access to health resources, so the actual
number would likely have been even higher.
If the stay at home order were lifted this week, death rates and
hospitalizations would start rising sharply by the middle of May.
It’s projected that the peak death rate and peak resource needs
would be almost as high as if there were never any mitigation
measures put in place. Over the course of the current outbreak, the
model estimates there would be 5 to 10 times more deaths than we
would see if we continued mitigation.
In either of the above scenarios, as much as half of
the state’s population could be infected with COVID-19 at once,
which would overwhelm the health care system and result in more
As a further caution against relaxing mitigations without carefully
considering the consequences, the model estimates that the number of
infectious people is likely similar in size to when the order began.
Even as hospitalizations and deaths are starting to decrease, there
are still enough active cases to lead to a second wave. Fortunately,
the stay at home order has prevented most of the population from
becoming sick, but that also means that most of the population
remains vulnerable to the virus.
Maintaining our current vigilance to controlling this outbreak is
crucial. Models contributed by UIUC and UChicago project a peak or
plateau of daily fatalities between late April and early May. The
median and range of daily deaths, within a 95% confidence interval,
are illustrated below.
Both of these projections indicate that after the peak, we should
expect it will take longer for deaths to decline to pre-epidemic
levels than it took for them to rise, underscoring the importance of
staying the course over the coming weeks and months.
[Text from file received from