Within the day after Gov. JB Pritzker announced his five-phase plan to reopen Illinois, native politicians are questioning whether or not McHenry and Cook dinner counties needs to be held to the identical requirements with regards to slowing the COVID-19 positivity fee.
State Sen. Dan McConchie, R-Hawthorn Woods, expressed considerations Wednesday that the counties are too geographically dissimilar and due to this fact incomparable by way of slowing the unfold of COVID-19. Quantity 5 of seven considerations McConchie explicitly laid out: “Want a haircut? Beneath this plan, you’ll have to attend till a minimum of June.” A number of elected officers all through the world additionally chimed in Wednesday with their very own questions concerning the plan, together with whether or not McHenry and Cook dinner counties needs to be tethered all through the phasing course of.
“Kane and McHenry counties can’t survive in any class of reopening, be it socially, economically, educationally or spiritually, ready for Chicago and Cook dinner County to handle its challenges in coping with the coronavirus,” mentioned state Sen. Don DeWitte, R-St. Charles.
Pritzker’s plan divides the state into 4 “well being areas,” which can transfer by means of the 5 phases impartial of each other primarily based on regional COVID-19 knowledge and well being care capability. The 4 areas are composed of 11 smaller “Emergency Medical Companies Areas” historically utilized by the Illinois Division of Public Well being in addressing well being emergencies, in accordance with the Restore Illinois plan.
The state’s Northeast area, which covers McHenry County, additionally contains Cook dinner, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Lake and Will counties. As of Wednesday, there have been 19,249 optimistic instances of COVID-19 and 892 deaths in Cook dinner County, in accordance with the IDPH, which tracks Chicago and Cook dinner County’s instances independently. As compared, Chicago reported 27,440 optimistic instances and 1,112 deaths as of Wednesday, whereas McHenry County reported 814 instances and 42 deaths, in accordance with the IDPH.
“We should shield the well being of our residents and take extra steps to guard Illinois nursing properties,” mentioned state Rep. David McSweeney, R-Barrington Hills. “We needs to be carefully coordinating with the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] and federal officers to implement a direct, county-by-county reopening plan within the areas the place the situations are protected to take action.”
In an official assertion despatched Wednesday, McConchie particularly questioned why Pritzker divided the state into solely 4 areas. He went on to specific considerations that McHenry County could be handled “precisely the identical as downtown Chicago.”
“By comparability, New York is break up into 10 areas regardless of being geographically smaller than Illinois,” McConchie mentioned.
New York, though geographically smaller than Illinois, is also extra densely populated. The state is residence to about 19.5 million folks, or about 421 folks a sq. mile, in comparison with Illinois, which has a inhabitants of about 12.7 million folks, or about 230 folks a sq. mile, in accordance with the U.S. Census Bureau.
State Rep. Steve Reick, R-Woodstock, expressed comparable considerations, noting that below the present division, smaller counties within the Northeast area must watch for Chicago’s confirmed instances to decelerate earlier than they might transfer a step nearer to re-opening.
“This plan, by placing McHenry County in with Cook dinner and Chicago, is sort of a assure that we’re going to be among the many final counties within the state to fulfill the the necessities of reaching Section 5,” Reick mentioned.
Pritzker defended the choice throughout Wednesday’s every day information convention, saying it was all about hospital mattress availability, and that regardless of how the traces have been drawn, “there have been individuals who have been going to complain.”
“I needed to level out to some mayors of cities and cities round Chicago that their residents go into town regularly, and so after they say ‘The issue is in Chicago and never right here,’ that’s simply incorrect,” Pritzker mentioned. “Individuals who reside there are going to locations with a better an infection fee after which going again to their village or their city.”
The 5 phases within the governor’s plan are named: speedy unfold, flattening, restoration, revitalization and restoration.
“Now that Illinois is bending the curve, it’s vitally necessary that we comply with a protected and deliberate path ahead to get our Illinois economic system shifting,” Pritzker wrote in his full five-step plan.
State Sen. Craig Wilcox, R-McHenry, mentioned the governor’s plan falls quick in additional methods than one. Particularly, Wilcox criticized Pritzker for asserting the plan with out public testimony throughout legislative committee hearings.
“The governor’s plan is nothing greater than a nine-month stay-at-home order imposing restrictions on our liberty, and violating the textual content and spirit of the Structure,” Wilcox mentioned in an official assertion he emailed Wednesday. “Most significantly, our residents’ questions and considerations should not being adequately addressed. The perspective appears to be, ‘be quiet and do as you’re advised.’ ”
McHenry County Board Chairman Jack Franks, D-Marengo, mentioned he’s been in communication with the the governor’s workplace in an try to have McHenry County separated from Cook dinner County within the present four-region division.
“I respect the sentiment,” Franks mentioned. “I believe [Pritzker’s] heading in the right direction. I believe there must be some refinements to the plan.”
Franks is also nervous that McHenry County’s voice within the matter has been stifled by “extremist” and “science denying” native politicians who’ve known as the pandemic a hoax and advocated for fast restoration of the Illinois economy.
“Regardless of what number of instances they repeat the lie it doesn’t make it true,” Franks mentioned.
Wilcox, who mentioned he “might have been to at least one or so” rallies aimed toward re-opening Illinois, additionally mentioned he agrees that restoring the state’s economic system must occur in phases. His foremost concern, he mentioned, is having the ability to clarify to constituents the reasoning behind Pritzker’s phases.
“The governor doesn’t share all the blame for the insufficient response to the pandemic,” Wilcox mentioned. “The president of the Senate and the Speaker of the Home may have, however haven’t known as us again to the Capitol to train our tasks as duly-elected representatives of the folks.”
Native elected officers additionally concern that Pritzker’s COVID-19 response may trigger far-reaching issues lengthy after the virus dies down.
“The Pritzker stay-at-home plans are unacceptable,” McSweeney mentioned. “Over 850,000 Illinois residents have misplaced their jobs; the Illinois unemployment fee is heading towards 15%; the unemployment advantages system has been dysfunctional; small companies are completely closing; meals banks are seeing unprecedented demand, and murderers are being launched early by Gov. Pritzker. Illinois households are hurting.”
— to www.nwherald.com