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Quincy leaders, businesses talk faster methods to reopen

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Quincy city officials, and business owners, are hoping to hear back from the governor on Mayor Kyle Moore's suggestions to help move the city and region towards reopening.

This comes after Moore said the governor's newest proposal could mean many businesses won't be re-opening until sometime in July.

Moore said getting to phase 4 of the governor's plan, when dining areas of restaurants like The Abbey in Quincy could re-open, could take a long time with the current requirements outlined by the governor, something he said is dangerous for Quincy when businesses are starting to re-open their doors right across the bridge to Missouri.

"My initial thoughts at first was it's a little too long, as far as we're concerned we're ready to open now. We're not Chicago, we're Quincy Illinois, it's not Chicago, it's a different animal," said owner of The Abbey Gabe McClean,

He said these past few weeks have been rough on everyone.

"We built the new kitchen here and we expected to open the new dining room part, and we have a drive through, we actually open for lunch now to help out, but it's been a struggle," said McClean

Moore said that's why he's hoping the governor considers his proposal, so businesses like The Abbey could potentially open in some capacity before July.

"What the governor proposes is to lump us in to a 39-county region with cities like Champaign and Danville," said Moore.

He said if the state's 28-day phasing window is lowered to 14 days, the time is measured from march 20th instead of may 1st, and the regions are instead broken up by emergency medical service regions, it would give Quincy a better shot.

"We can work with the governor and that's what we're here to do, and say it's a great start but it can't be a finish," said Moore.

McClean said he knows even when they re-open they'll have to use new precautions, but he says they're ready.

"We want the customers to feel safe when they come in here, we don't want to do anything too soon, but we feel like it's been long enough," said McClean.

Moore said his proposal has also been looked at and approved by local healthcare providers.

He said it also includes red flags to make sure if there is a flare up of cases, restrictions could be put back in place.

Pritzker explained his 28-day phasing Wednesday, he said while his plan has more days between phases, it has different criteria than the white house plan.

For example, he says data is flat, not declining in Illinois. He said the white house plan calls for a decline before starting the days.

If the state were to follow the white house plan, Pritzker said Illinois would not have even begun the 14-days yet.

Instead, he says he's watching hospital beds and the ability to provide healthcare in the state.

He said if that is stable over 28-days, regions can move to the next phase.

Pritzker also addressed the idea of splitting the state into more regions.

"I'm sure there are a lot of opinions about how you could draw the lines. I know I spoke with one or another DuPage county mayors who wanted just to draw the lines around their city. So my view is that no matter how we drew these lines, there were going to be people who might complain, but, remember why they were drawn. They were drawn because we want to make sure that there is healthcare availability," said Governor Pritzker.

Frank Healy

Multimedia Journalist at WGEM

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