Posted May 5, 2020
This is a station editorial, I'm Randal J. Miller, station president.
Thanks to a combination of efforts from downstate legislators and the public, Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker on May 5th during his daily news conference, outlined a plan to re-open the entire state after the coronavirus outbreak caused the Governor to issue a Stay at Home order on March 20, that remains in effect thru May 30th.
His "Restore Illinois" plan calls for the state to be re-opened based on dividing the state into eleven regions, then monitoring the deaths, cases, and hospital beds used in each of those regions. As those numbers go down, a specific region will then move to the next phase.
You can find the "Restore Illinois" plan to re-open the state, by clicking that icon at taylorvilledailynews.com or dewittdailynews.com.
The Governor also authorized the Illinois Department of Public Health, to make decisions on what regions can go to which phases. We're told their web site will show the curves of each region, so residents can see how close or how far away they are from moving to the next phase.
While this can be construed as wanting to avoid blame for not opening regions too soon or not soon enough, it at least gives Illinois residents a path to open their region when certain criteria are met.
With the entire state in Phase 2 of his "Restore Illinois" plan, it won't take much for the 2 regions that our counties represent, to move to Phase 3, which opens retail, barber shops, salons, offices, and manufacturing with capacity and other limits and precautions. Gatherings of no more than 10 are also allowed, and face coverings and social distancing will be the norm.
We CAN get our regions opened, if we do 2 things: First, continue to follow the C-D-C guidelines on limiting contact with others as much as possible, to continue to flatten the curve in our 2 regions. Secondly, continue to put pressure on the Governor, making him realize that many regions and counties had few cases and few or no deaths, asking WHY those areas can't move to Phase 3 NOW.
Listeners, it's up to us to help flatten the curve, AND to keep the heat on the Governor. Our future is in OUR hands.
That's our opinion...we welcome yours. Our e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.