By Alexandra Blockton
According to Belleville News-Democrat, which is a major metro-east newspaper, Madison County will be reopening cities in Illinois. Many officials agree with the planning of the opening, which will occur in different phases at separate dates and times.
The stay at home order from the Coronavirus will slowly but surely be lifted. Of course, it will be going against Governor J.B. Pritzker’s actual statewide plan in regards to reopening the state.
However, it will be done in five phases and on May 12th the county Board of Health had voted to approve of the decision. Despite what was actually planned to take place, Starting Wednesday, May 13th, 2020, and ending in late June 2020.
Director Toni Corona of the County Health Department said, “The increased work that the resolution potentially implies on the health departments part, is bringing it on. But I’m going to tell you, hear me loud, we’re maxed. We’re holding on by our fingernails right this second and there will be a lot of consequences intended and unintended as we continue on in this response.”
First, it will start in Phase One with the social gatherings being kept at a limit of no more than ten people, and twenty-five percent occupancy for restaurants with customers from the public, dining, and retail businesses occupancy as well. It also will include parks, swimming pools, campgrounds and recreational locations.
Unfortunately, hairdressers in salons, personal care providers and massage therapy sessions will be able to provide their services only by appointment. Churches will also be resuming worship at fifty percent occupancy.
During the second phase, which will be an estimation of time starting on May 28 – June 12, there will be an increase in social gatherings to fifty or more people, as well as churches and restaurants.
Finally, the third phase will take place on June 13 – June 27, but only if citizens have followed guidelines from phase one and two. Public places will be set to be officially reopened to accept normal occupancy. Retailers, churches and restaurants will be limited to 75 percent. Social gatherings will be increasing at 150 people or more.
Many Democrats were simply against County Board Chairman Kurt Prenzler’s plan.
Madison County Demoratic Party Chair Randy Harris said, “We all understand that there must be a plan in place to help reopen Madison County, and to help save small businesses, retailers and manufacturers, but this plan would ultimately endanger those same small businesses across our county. Item seven in the Resolution clearly shows Prenzler knows that small businesses may not be insured, may put their business licenses in a risky position and he’s trying to avoid any legal liability for the county, while still encouraging businesses to open. This is politics, plain and simple.”