5/23/20 - A Message from Secretary Hou: Press Conference Recap

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Dear colleagues:

I hope everyone is enjoying a safe holiday weekend. Please see the updates from the Governor's press conference yesterday.

COVID-19 Updates from the Governor's 05-22-2020 Press Conference

  • Phase 3 Date: Governor JB Pritzker once again reminded us that all regions under his Restore Illinois plan are on track to move into Phase 3 on May 29th.
  • Child Care Capacity: The Governor noted that over 2,500 childcare homes and 700 centers have been valiantly providing emergency program care over the past few months, which is only about 15% of the previous operating capacity of our childcare system. As the State begins to open back up, we need to greatly increase this capacity, so that people can get back to work.
  • Child Care Provider Guidance: As such, the Governor announced that he is asking all of the 5,500 childcare providers who are not currently operating to reopen when their community moves into Phase 3. For the first four weeks that they're open, providers will be able to serve no more than 10 children per classroom. Once they have provided care safely for four weeks and have gotten accustomed to the new health, social distancing, and sanitation routines, they will be able to expand to larger group sizes.
  • Houses of Worship: When questioned about the President's recent remarks claiming houses of worship are "essential," Governor Pritzker noted that he is as anxious as anybody to make sure that our churches, mosques, synagogues, and other places of worship can open back up as soon as possible, but that he will continue to rely on the experts and to operate on the basis of science and data to protect the health and safety of attendees.
  • Chicago Casino Bill: While he didn't know if the General Assembly would be able to negotiate a final package this weekend that all sides could agree to, he reiterated his support for legislation that would allow a casino in Chicago to move forward.
  • Testing Capacity: Over the preceding 24 hours, the State was able to process 25,113 test specimens.
  • Positivity Rate: The statewide 7-day rolling positivity rate is now down to 13%.
  • Hospitalization Numbers: As of yesterday, there were 3,928 people hospitalized in Illinois for COVID-19. Of those, 1,060 were in the ICU, with 589 of them on ventilators.
  • Daily Statewide COVID-19 cases: 2,758 new cases reported in Illinois and 110 additional deaths.

Thank you,


Grace B. Hou

Secretary, IDHS