While the sporting world rejoices the NHL announcing a return to play plan, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker provided a quick reality check on Wednesday.
Kelly Bauer provided a play-by-play of Pritzker’s daily press conference on Twitter, including his response to the idea of pro hockey returning this summer.
Pritzker on NHL: "Actually, as you know, the state is the one that sets the parameters for any play that might exist int he state, and then the city of Chicago, of course, has the ability to be more stringent ... ." All major leagues have contacted them. "I am as anxious as, I...— Kelly Bauer (@BauerJournalism) May 27, 2020
"think, many people are to get our sports up and running again. The problem is, we can't put spectators in the stands today. There's just no way to do that safely, according to the doctors. What the leagues have asked is not for that. What they've asked is for the ability to ...— Kelly Bauer (@BauerJournalism) May 27, 2020
"run games ... televised with no spectators. Even that, as you can imagine, think about two teams, all of the surrounding people who work for the team involved, it's a lot of people. We've worked with them. They've actually come up with reasonably good plans." He's "anxious" ...— Kelly Bauer (@BauerJournalism) May 27, 2020
to get baseball up again and hopes to do it going into July. He can't say when the Blackhawks will be "at it again."— Kelly Bauer (@BauerJournalism) May 27, 2020
It’s an important reminder that multiple hurdles still need to be cleared before we’re all watching hockey again, and that proper precautions need to be met to ensure public safety.
According to Pritzker’s “Restore Illinois” plan, non-essential gatherings of up to 50 people will be allowed in Phase 4. Currently the state is gearing up to enter Phase 3, where non-essential gatherings of up to 10 people are allowed.
For any region of the state to move on from Phase 3 to Phase 4, they will have to maintain a COVID-19 positivity rate of under 20%, while also increasing by no more than 10% over a 14-day period. There will also have to be adequate testing and contact tracing for 90% percent of diagnoses within 24 hours.