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July 24, 2020

WHEREASCoronavirus 2019 (COVID-19), a novel severe acute respiratory illness, has rapidly spread throughout Illinois in a short period of time, necessitating stringent guidance from federal, state, and local public health officials and significant measures to respond to the increasing public health disaster; and,

WHEREAS, COVID-19 can spread among people through respiratory transmissions, asymptomatic people can transmit the virus, and there is currently no effective treatment or vaccine; and,

WHEREAS, on March 9, 2020, I, JB Pritzker, Governor of Illinois, declared all counties in the State of Illinois as a disaster area in response to the outbreak of COVID-19; and,

WHEREAS, on April 1, 2020, I declared all counties in the State of Illinois as a disaster area due to the exponential spread of COVID-19; and,

WHEREAS, on April 30, 2020, due to the expected continuing spread of COVID-19, the resulting health impacts across the State, and the need to address the potential shortages of hospital beds, ICU beds, ventilators, personal protective equipment and materials for testing for the virus, I declared all counties in the State of Illinois as a disaster area; and,

WHEREAS, on May 29, 2020, due to the thousands of lives lost to COVID-19 in Illinois, the continued increase of cases, the continued threat of shortages of hospital beds, ER beds, and ventilators, the improved but still insufficient testing capacity, and the economic devastation caused by the virus, I again declared all counties in the State of Illinois as a disaster area; and,

WHEREAS, on June 26, 2020, due to the ongoing burden on hospital resources, the expected continuing spread of COVID-19, and the ongoing health and economic impacts caused by COVID-19, I again declared all counties in the State of Illinois as a disaster area; and,

WHEREAS, on July 24, 2020, considering the expected continuing spread of COVID-19 and the ongoing health and economic impacts that that will be felt over the coming month by people across the State, I again declared all counties in the State of Illinois as a disaster area (together with the previous proclamations identified in this Executive Order, the Gubernatorial Disaster Proclamations); and,

WHEREAS, it is necessary and appropriate for the State of Illinois to continue to take immediate and significant measures to prevent or slow the spread of COVID-19 and protect public health during the COVID-19 outbreak; and,

WHEREAS, Restore Illinois is a five-phased plan to reopen Illinois, guided by health metrics and involving the cautious resumption of distinct business, education, and recreation activities in each phase; and,

WHEREAS, the Restore Illinois plan establishes four health regions in Illinois, each with the ability to independently move through the phased approach; and,

WHEREAS, as of July 24, 2020, all four health regions are in Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois plan; and,

WHEREAS, Phase 4 allows for schools to reopen and provide in-person instruction, in accordance with Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) guidance; and,

WHEREAS, on June 4, 2020, I issued Executive Order 2020-40 allowing all public and nonpublic schools in Illinois to reopen for limited in-person instruction during Phase 3 and requiring schools to adhere to IDPH guidance to ensure the safety of students, staff, and visitors; and,

WHEREAS, on June 26, 2020 I issued Executive Order 2020-44, which amended Executive Order 2020-40 to accommodate the transition to Phase 4, under which gatherings of up to fifty people are permitted; and,

WHEREAS, at my request and under my authority, the Illinois State Board of Education and IDPH issued the Transition Joint Guidance with requirements and recommendations to make the reopening of schools for in-person instruction during the 2020-2021 school year as safe as possible; and,

WHEREAS, on July 15, 2020, I issued an updated mitigation plan as part of Restore Illinois which further divides the State into eleven health regions but has no effect on the applicability of the Transition Joint Guidance to preK-12 schools;

THEREFORE, by the powers vested in me as the Governor of the State of Illinois, pursuant to the Illinois Constitution and Sections 7(1), 7(2), 7(8), and 7(12) of the Illinois Emergency Management Agency Act, 20 ILCS 3305, and consistent with the powers in public health laws, I hereby order the following, effective July 24, 2020:

Section 1. All public and nonpublic schools in Illinois serving pre-kindergarten through 12th grade students may open for in-person educational purposes following the completion of the regular 2019-2020 school term. All public and nonpublic schools must follow IDPH and ISBE guidance during Phase 4 and take proactive measures to ensure the safety of students, staff, and visitors, including, but not limited to the following public health guidelines:

  1. Limiting the number of people in one space to fifty or fewer.
  2. Ensuring compliance with social distancing requirements to the greatest extent possible. For purposes of this Executive Order, social distancing includes maintaining at least six-foot distance from other individuals and discouraging physical contact between individuals.
  3. Requiring symptom screenings and temperature checks or requiring individuals to self-certify that they are free of COVID-19 symptoms before entering school buildings.
  4. Ensuring appropriate hygienic practices, including washing hands with soap and water for at least twenty seconds as frequently as possible or using hand sanitizer, covering coughs or sneezes (into the sleeve or elbow, not hands), discouraging the sharing of personal items, and regularly cleaning and disinfecting high-touch surfaces.
  5. Requiring the use of appropriate personal protective equipment by students, staff, and visitors, including the use of face coverings by individuals who are over age two and able to medically tolerate a face covering. Schools must provide face coverings to all employees who are not able to maintain a minimum six-foot social distance at all times and, to the extent possible, make face coverings available for all students.

Section 2. This Executive Order supersedes any contrary provision of any other prior Executive Order. Any provisions that are not contrary to those in this Executive Order shall remain in full force and effect.

Section 3. If any provision of this Executive Order or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid by any court of competent jurisdiction, this invalidity does not affect any other provision or application of this Executive Order, which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application. To achieve this purpose, the provisions of this Executive Order are declared to be severable.

Issued by the Governor July 24, 2020
Filed by the Secretary of State July 24, 2020