Skip to Content

Central Illinois officials call for opening Tri-County area in phases, in letter to governor

UDPATE 4:00 p.m. with statement from Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis.

(WEEK) -- Multiple elected officials in central Illinois have signed a letter to Governor JB Pritzker imploring him to consider an attached three-phase plan to reopen local businesses and economies. 

The plan includes signatures from the mayors of East Peoria and Morton, the board chairs of Tazewell and Woodford counties, and Tazewell County Sheriff Jeff Lower. 

Absent from the letter is a signature from Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis.

In today's Tri-County briefing, the mayor explained his reasoning -- citing one reason was asking the governor to open up on May 1.

"I'm sure he's considering different options but it's not going to happen on May 1," he said.

Ardis also said he wanted more medical metrics factored into reopening -- which the three-phase plan does not address.

"Part of what the city manager's team, the economic -- Chris Setti from GPEDC, and several of us that are trying to craft something is the importance of getting that medical metric in there," he said. "We just want to get that part of it right, so it makes sense, so the governor is comfortable with it, and so we can get this area open back up."

The first phase would begin May 1, giving nonessential businesses the option of reopening with social distancing guidelines maintained.  

Phase two would begin June 1 – giving restaurants, bars and bakeries the option of reopening up to 75% of their normal occupancy. Groups of more than 50 people would be avoided. 

Phase three would start July 3 and would open up large venues and social gatherings such as weddings and funerals under limited social distancing guidelines. 

The letter to the governor gives concern that the extension to his stay-at-home order would lead to a series of impassable fiscal barriers for many.

"As tension continues to rise and uncertainty continues to loom, our collective cities are seeking to take a measured approach by reopening the Tri-County region in phases beginning May 1 and are respectfully urging you to support our doing so," the letter stated.

Pekin mayor Mark Luft said he has received phone calls from other local leaders wanting to sign onto the letter.  

The full plan is below:

Phase 1 - May 1, 2020:

Nonessential businesses may reopen but shall take appropriate mitigation measures to ensure that social distancing guidelines are maintained. Businesses should take all necessary precautions and follow sanitation protocols as approved by the local health department. Businesses include, but are not limited to, all retailers, shopping centers, auto dealerships, distribution centers, nursery/garden shops, other lawn and garden centers, marinas, parks, lakes, golf courses, campgrounds and other outdoor recreational areas. Nonessential travel should be minimized. Avoid social gatherings in groups of more than 10. All vulnerable people should continue to shelter in place.

Salons, barber shops, spas, dog grooming facilities and other personal care facilities may reopen but shall take appropriate mitigation measures, such as reconfiguring and/or restricting space to enable people to be located apart, to ensure that social distancing guidelines are maintained. In addition, employees shall be required to use face masks while in close proximity to clients and must clean and wipe all surfaces between clients.

Gyms/fitness studios and indoor recreational facilities may reopen. Mitigation measures, such as reconfiguring and/or restricting space to enable people to be located apart, shall be taken to ensure that social distancing guidelines are maintained. Equipment must be cleaned and wiped between users.

Restaurants, bakeries and bars may continue to prepare and serve food providing that the food is for off-premise consumption and served through means such as in-house-delivery, third-party delivery, drive-through service and curbside pick-up. In addition, patrons may enter the premises to purchase food or beverages for carry-out. License holders with the authority to sell alcoholic beverages for off-premise consumption may continue to sell alcoholic liquor for off-premises consumption provided that the alcoholic liquor is in its unopened, original packaging through means of in-house delivery, third-party delivery, drive-through service, curbside pick-up and home delivery. In addition, patrons may enter the premises to purchase food or beverage for carry-out providing social distancing guidelines are maintained. On-premise liquor license holders for hotels may continue to sell beverages via room service, mini-bar and carry-out.

Phase 1 - May 15, 2020:

Nonessential travel can resume. Avoid social gatherings in groups of more than 10 people. All vulnerable people should continue to shelter in place.

Restaurants, bakeries and bars may reopen at up to 50% occupancy as determined by the plaque posted from the local Fire Marshall. Mitigation measures, such as reconfiguring and/or restricting space to enable people to be located apart, shall be taken to ensure that adequate social distancing guidelines are maintained. These establishments should take all necessary precautions and follow sanitation protocols as approved by the local health department. Food-preparers and servers shall be required to use face masks. Questions regarding occupancy are to be directed to the local Fire Marshall.

Riverboat casino and video gaming may resume operations utilizing at up to 50% stations, subject to approval by the Illinois Gaming Board. Mitigation measures, such as reconfiguring and/or restricting space to enable people to be located apart, shall be taken to ensure that social distancing guidelines are maintained.

Childcare facilities may reopen but shall take appropriate mitigation measures, such as reconfiguring and/or restricting space to enable people to be located apart, to ensure that social distancing guidelines are maintained

Places of worship may reopen but shall take appropriate mitigation measures, such as reconfiguring and/or restricting space to enable people to be located apart, to ensure that social distancing guidelines are maintained.

Theatres, museums and bowling alleys may reopen but shall take appropriate mitigation measures, such as reconfiguring and/or restricting space to enable people to be located apart, to ensure that social distancing guidelines are maintained

Athletic fields may reopen for practice. Bleacher sections must be removed (if applicable) or restricted from use. Dugouts must be restricted from use. Personal seating can be used but social distancing guidelines must be maintained.

Playgrounds, skateparks and other outdoor recreation spaces may reopen. Social distancing guidelines must be maintained.

Youth activities may reopen. Social distancing guidelines must be maintained.

Elective surgeries in applicable municipalities can resume. All medical offices need to continue to follow guidance from IDPH.

Phase 2 - June 1, 2020:

Avoid social gatherings in groups of more than 50 people. Vulnerable people should continue to shelter in place. Visits to senior care facilities and hospitals can resume under strict social distancing guidelines. Visitors to senior care facilities must wear face masks.

Restaurants, bakeries and bars may reopen at up to 75% occupancy as determined by the plaque posted from the local Fire Marshall. Mitigation measures, such as reconfiguring and/or restricting space to enable people to be located apart, shall be taken to ensure that social distancing guidelines are maintained. These establishments should take all necessary precautions and follow sanitation protocols as approved by the local health department. Food-preparers and servers shall be required to use face masks. Questions regarding occupancy are to be directed to the local Fire Marshall.

Riverboat casino and video gaming operations may resume at up to 75% capacity, subject to approval by the Illinois Gaming Board. Mitigation measures, such as reconfiguring and/or restricting space to enable people to be located apart, shall be taken to ensure that social distancing guidelines are maintained. These establishments should take all necessary precautions and follow sanitation protocols as approved by the local health department.

Athletic fields may reopen for tournaments. Bleacher sections must be removed (if applicable) or restricted from use. Dugouts must be restricted from use. Personal seating can be used but social distancing guidelines must be maintained. Concessions may be reopened but social distancing guidelines must be maintained in the food service area. These establishments should take all necessary precautions and follow sanitation protocols as approved by the local health department. Food-preparers and servers shall be required to use masks.

Public pools may reopen. Social distancing guidelines must be maintained in seating areas.

Small business gatherings and meetings can resume under social distancing guidelines.

Except to the extent the Governor acting within his authority has directed public schools to remain closed, schools may reopen. Social distancing guidelines must be maintained.

Phase 2 - June 15, 2020:

Restaurants, bakeries and bars may reopen at up to 100% occupancy as determined by the plaque posted from the local Fire Marshall. Mitigation measures shall be taken to ensure that social distancing guidelines are
maintained. These establishments should take all necessary precautions and follow sanitation protocols as approved by the local health department. Food preparers and servers shall be required to use face masks. Questions regarding occupancy are to be directed to the local Fire Marshall.

Riverboat casino and video gaming operations may resume at up to 100% capacity, subject to approval by the Illinois Gaming Board. Mitigation measures, such as reconfiguring and/or restricting space to enable people to be located apart, shall be taken to ensure that social distancing guidelines are maintained. These establishments should take all necessary precautions and follow sanitation protocols as approved by the local health department.

Athletic fields may reopen dugouts under limited social distancing guidelines.

Phase 3 - July 1, 2020:

Vulnerable people can resume public interaction but should practice social distancing.

Athletic fields may reopen bleacher sections under limited social distancing guidelines.

Large venues can operate under limited social distancing guidelines.

Large social gatherings, such as weddings and funerals, can resume under limited social distancing guidelines.

Business related gatherings, such as trade shows, conferences, conventions and workshops can resume under limited social distancing gatherings.

Entertainment related mass gatherings, such as concerts, festivals, carnivals and shows, can resume under limited social distancing guidelines.

We can all do our part by practicing preventive measures, such as:

  • Frequently wash your hands with soap and water
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid contact with sick people if possible
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing
  • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces
  • Ensure to maintain at least six-foot social distancing from other individuals
  • Stay home should you have a fever or otherwise feel unwell
Author Profile Photo

25 News

Skip to content