Rep. Keicher, House GOP propose strategies to safely re-open Illinois

State Representative Jeff Keicher, R-Sycamore, and the Illinois House Republican Caucus are offering an array of proposals and ideas on ways to safely re-open Illinois during the coronavirus pandemic. Some of these proposals include a safe, responsible re-opening of doctor offices, clinics and hospital systems, essential retail operations resuming online or curbside pick-up, plant or garden centers and the re-opening of local and state parks.

“Our first and foremost concern remains public health and safety.  After weeks of hearing from struggling employers and workers who have lost their jobs, been furloughed, or seen their hours cut, we feel there are common-sense and responsible steps our state can take so Illinois residents can buy the things they need and get the services they depend on in a safe and healthy environment,” Keicher said. “In addition to online ordering and curbside pickup, many businesses can utilize social distancing, face coverings, and density restrictions to operate in a responsible manner. We need to begin the safe economic recovery for Illinois as soon as possible; being mindful of the need to do so responsibly to prevent a resurgence of COVID-19 spreading.  We have the ability to do this using safe, common-sense solutions recommended by public health experts such as masks and cloth face coverings, social distancing and other measures that will allow us to move forward with a modified re-open.”

Rep. Keicher believes it is time to lift the order suspending all ‘elective’ medical procedures at Illinois hospitals. “Right now, Illinoisans across the state are not able to receive standard and necessary care, like cancer preventative screening services. In some parts of Illinois, hospitals and healthcare organizations have stabilized and need to provide access to vital health services. If the governor extends his disaster declaration, we are strongly advocating he revise his orders on non-COVID-19 related medical care.”

House Republicans also believe the state can safely reopen many state parks and recreational facilities following proper social distancing guidelines including potential closure of restrooms and indoor facilities.

“We can open our state parks, monitor them using conservation police and park staff, and allow Illinois families to resume outdoor activities,” Keicher added. “Camping, hiking, golfing, hunting, fishing…these are all activities that can be enjoyed while maintaining recommended social distancing. Following guidance from the White House and the governor, we can reopen Illinois using a regional approach. We are not advocating for an ‘all-at-once’ reopening with no mitigation to prevent the spread of COVID-19, but we can get started moving in the right direction and begin to restore people’s livelihoods so that families whose earning ability has been interrupted can get back to work in a safe and responsible way.”