Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker’s COVID-19 plan is to reopen the state in five stages. A DuPage physician says that it could take up to 12-18 months before businesses open, and the mask requirement is lifted for heavily populated areas. Congressional candidate Jeanne Ives spoke with Dr. Kevin Most, Chief Medical Officer at Northwestern Medicine at Central DuPage Hospital, on May 6 about the governor’s plan.
“We may be in Phase 2 [of Governor Pritzker’s reopen plan] for quite some time,” Most said. “For us [in the suburbs of Chicago], to get to Phase 5, the way he has described it, it may be a year from now. It may be a year and a half from now because we may not have a vaccine by that time.” In addition to discussing contact tracing and antibody testing, Most addressed CDH’s designation as a test site for Remdesivir by the National Institutes of Health.
“We are hopeful that Remdesivir helps, but it is not a wonder-drug,” he said. “It’s not like an antibiotic that you take, and in a couple days you feel better… that’s not a cure. That’s not going to slow down the spread.” Remdesivir’s role in coronavirus to Tamiflu’s role in the flue was compared by the doctor. The governor announced his plan on May 5.
He sectioned the state into four regions. The Northeast Illinois, North-Central, Central, and Southern. Each region will move through with the plan’s phases. The plan was termed as Restore Illinois. The five stages are:
Phase 1 – Rapid Spread: Strict stay-at-home orders and social distancing guidelines are places as the rate of infection is high.
Phase 2 – Flattening: The rate of infections and admitted patients is at a slower rate, moving towards curve flattening.
Phase 3 – Recovery: The number of infections, number of patients admitted to hospitals and need ICU beds is stable or declining.
Phase 4 – Revitalization: The rate of infections and number of patients admitted to hospitals are continuing to decrease.
Phase 5 – Illinois Restored: With vaccine created or highly effective treatment widely available, the state will be restored.