Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker and state officials speak at their daily press conference on May 29, 2020 | Photo: Illinois Information Service.

As Illinois has moved into Phase 3 of reopening, Gov. J.B. Pritzker will be signing a new executive order called the Community Recover Order, ending his stay-at-home order.

“Illinois, today you have officially entered the next phase of our path forward. As of today, thousands of our small businesses in nearly every municipality around the state are opening their doors again safely,” Pritzker said.

Pritzker’s new executive order will reflect the changes under Phase 3 of Restore Illinois and end his stay-at-home order. Groups will be limited to 10 or fewer people.

The state will be extending the ban on evictions, utility shut-offs and repossession of vehicles due to the financial challenges of COVID-19, Pritzker said.

“While some restrictions are lifting, we must still take personal responsibility to continue the reopening but safely. We must continue to keep our distance and wear face coverings,” Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike.

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The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) said there were 1,622 new coronavirus cases and 86 additional deaths on Friday. The state’s COVID-19 case total is now at 117,455 positive cases and 5,270 deaths.

Laboratories have processed 25,513 tests in the past 24 hours, officials said. The total number of people tested so far in the state is at 855,479.

Manufacturing, retail stores, churches, offices, youth sports, restaurants and bars, personal care services and fitness centers throughout the state were able to reopen in a modified way on Friday.

Pritzker said that he will no longer hold his daily press briefings for COVID-19 and they will only be held on an as-needed basis.

On Thursday, Ezike said that all long-term care facilities in Illinois will be required to test all of their residents and staff.

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The facilities must come up with a testing plan and provide proof they’ve established a relationship with a testing lab, Pritzker said. The facilities will report test results to IDPH.

Pritzker held his Wednesday daily press conference at a COVID-19 testing site in East St. Louis and talked about the number of deaths passing 5,000 statewide.

“These are real people whose lives came to an end because of this pandemic. They are grandparents and uncles and aunts, parents, cousins, children, friends. They had whole lives that were cut short because COVID-19 knows no boundaries and only seeks to destroy,” he said.

Pritzker said that Illinois still needs more contact tracers. He said around 30% of contacts are being successfully traced and the goal is get it to above 60%.

“It’s going to take us weeks and weeks. I can’t tell you how long. I mean some people think it will take through August to do it. I’m hoping that we’ll be able to do it much faster than that,” he said.

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