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Chicago Will Now Be Recognized As Its Own Region In State’s Reopening Plan

By Colby Smith

Chicago Will Now Be Recognized As Its Own Region In State’s Reopening Plan

The newly drawn up Restore Illinois map designates Chicago and surrounding suburbs as separate regions.

In an effort to better manage potentially growing outbreaks throughout the state, Illinois officials have redrawn the original Restore Illinois map, creating 7 additional regions and making Chicago and suburban Cook County into their own regions.

Back in May, Gov. JB Pritzker introduced Restore: Illinois — a 5-phase plan to gradually reopen the state. In this announcement, Pritzker described how the state would reopen on a regional basis.

“This is also a regional plan… moving forward with Restore Illinois, we are looking at the state as four regions, each of which can move through phases at different times: Northeast Illinois; North-Central Illinois; Central Illinois; and Southern Illinois,” Pritzker had said at the time.

Now, as surrounding states and Chicago itself are beginning to see rising numbers of cases, Illinois officials have redrawn the map with new Illinois Emergency Management Regions. The new map designates suburban Cook County areas into their own regions. Prior, mayors from these suburbs had called upon to be withdrawn from their inclusion with large and active City of Chicago.

More specifically, the new regions are broken down as such:

1. North: Boone, Carroll, DeKalb, Jo Daviess, Lee, Ogle, Stephenson, Whiteside, Winnebago
2. North Central: Bureau, Fulton, Grundy, Henderson, Henry, Kendall, Knox, La Salle, Livingston, Marshall, McDonough, McLean, Mercer, Peoria, Putnam, Rock Island, Stark, Tazewell, Warren, Woodford

3. West Central: Adams, Brown, Calhoun, Cass, Christian, Greene, Hancock, Jersey, Logan, Macoupin, Mason, Mason, Menard, Montgomery, Morgan, Pike, Sangamon, Schuyler, Scott
4. Metro East: Bond, Clinton, Madison, Monroe, Randolph, St. Clair, Washington
5. Southern: Alexander, Edwards, Franklin, Gallatin, Hamilton, Hardin, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Marion, Massac, Perry, Pope, Pulaski, Saline, Union, Wabash, Wayne, White, Williamson
6. East Central: Champaign, Clark, Clay, Coles, Crawford, Cumberland, De Witt, Douglas, Edgar, Effingham, Fayette, Ford, Iroquois, Jasper, Lawrence, Macon, Moultrie, Piatt, Richland, Shelby, Vermillion
7. South Suburban: Kankakee, Will
8. West Suburban: DuPage, Kane
9. North Suburban: Lake, McHenry

10. Suburban Cook: Suburban Cook
11. Chicago: City of Chicago

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The state’s new plan includes a triple tiered mitigation stratagem that would enable health officials to “move carefully but deliberately, depending upon the severity of the situation, to control the spread of the while continuing to allow a region to be open to the greatest extent possible,” said Pritzker.

“These mitigation options allow us to move decisively without reacting more broadly than circumstances require.”

Action will be taken in any of these regions if they were to experience, any one of these indicators:

  • Sustained 7-day increase in COVID-19 cases
  • 8% positivity rate sustained over 3 straight days
  • Reduction in hospital (ICU and/or medical beds) surge capacities

In the event that any one of the regions experiences one of the aforementioned indicators, that region may be forced to shut down bars, restaurants, and other small businesses.

Presently each region is in Phase 4 of the state’s reopening plan, with 5% positivity rate or lower.

See more: Chicago Could Go Back Into Phase 3, Mayor Lightfoot Warns

[Featured image via screenshot]