May 30, 2020

Archdiocese of Chicago reaches agreement to being phased opening churches later this month

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Facing lawsuits and outright defiance, Illinois governor JB Pritzker continues to defend his plan and the timeline to reopen the state.

But late Wednesday, an agreement was announced with the archdiocese to begin opening churches later this month.

The Archdiocese of Chicago released a statement that said there is an agreement with the governor’s office for a phased re-opening of churches starting as early as May 23 with a limit of 10 attendees. Phase 1 would be for sacramental celebrations and private prayer.

In Phase 2 parishes could apply for certification to offer daily and Sunday Mass.

Meanwhile, officials in downstate Madison County voted to allow personal care providers like nail salons to resume business Wednesday along with retailers, restaurants, gyms and theaters reopening with 25 percent occupancy. 

Wednesday was the deadliest 24 hours in Illinois since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, 1,677 new cases of COVID-19 and 192 new deaths were identified across Illinois, bringing the statewide totals up to 84,698 cases and 3,792 deaths.

But the governor’s Restore Illinois Plan is facing some opposition across the state.

The Adams County board passed a resolution asking for modifications to allow a speedier reopening.

There was also more legal action from Rockford State Rep. John Cabello who filed a temporary restraining order to suspend Pritzker’s order. 

Also Wednesday, a federal judge blocked an effort by two Chicago area churches who want clearance to hold service following social distancing guidelines. And the governor had sharp words for Dr. Willie Wilson who said he supports the decision of 100 churches to hold services on Sunday. Pritzker called it “ridiculous.”

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