* WEEK TV…
Two weeks ago Peoria leaders introduced the Restore Heart of Illinois plan, made up of 11 counties in Central Illinois with the goal of reopening more quickly than the state wide plan allowed.
Now with phase three of the state plan, Restore Illinois, starting Friday those same leaders are now saying the Governor’s plan takes the lead.
Peoria officials said when they started working on their Restore HOI plan there was no guidance from the state. But now the Peoria Health Department said a lot has changed.
“As this moved forward and we were waiting for responses and then there was different executive orders and different discussions about insurance liabilities, professional regulations as well as even administrative code updates we never want to put any of our entities in a situation where they had to determine about their liability and risk and safe practices.” said Administrator Monica Hendrickson
She said much of Restore HOI has now merged with the Governor’s plan or includes compromises, such as the outdoor seating for food establishments.
“What Restore HOI initially did was to create that guidance. Since then restore Illinois provided guidance just this weekend and upon comparison we recognized that a lot of our feedback was actually implemented and so from a local health department perspective we are following restore Illinois.”
* Peoria Public Radio…
[Peoria City/County Health Department Admnistrator Monica Hendrickson] said the Restore HOI plan has now “merged” with the governor’s plan.
“I think people want to say Restore HOI was a failure or whatnot,” she said. “But really, it was a way for us to provide guidance and get people to think about what it was going to be like to reopen, as well as to help advocate and support our state entities as they were moving into a very much new phase of this pandemic, which was to start reopening and releasing restrictions.”
After nearly two hours of discussion, McLean County Board members voted 12-8 Thursday night to table a resolution to implement the Restore Heart of Illinois plan.
No date was set to take up the plan again.
Earlier in the day, Peoria County Administrator Scott Sorrell confirmed at a press briefing that Peoria, which developed the plan as an alternative to the state’s Restore Illinois plan, would not be bringing it to its own county board for consideration.
In fact, none of the other 10 counties included in the regional reopening plan has chosen to implement it.
McLean County Board Member Carlo Robustelli made the motion to table the vote. “The plan author has abandoned their plan,” he said. “A regional plan without the region all buying in and adopting it makes it impossible to do the regional metrics that have been laid out in it.”
[McLean County] Board members opposed implementing the Heart of Illinois Plan pointed to a letter from and a statement by McLean County Health Department Administrator Jessica McKnight, who said, “The health department does not have the capacity to fulfill our role in the implementation.” […]
Of seven public comments read into the record, only two supported implementation of the Heart of Illinois Plan.
In addition, Bloomington Mayor Tari Renner sent a letter to the board opposing immediate implementation of the plan. In his letter, Renner wrote, “I urge you to be prudent and wait until further plans are properly vetted and to operate within the framework established by Governor Pritzker.