Illinois will move into the Bridge Phase of reopening on May 14 and could fully reopen as soon as June 11, Gov. JB Pritzker announced at a press conference Thursday afternoon.
In a statement, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said the city will follow suit and move to the city's Bridge Phase on May 14, which broadly follows the same guidelines.
Pritzker said the number of new cases and hospitalizations has leveled off, enabling the move into a less restrictive tier of reopening.
"We believe that we will look good in terms of getting to the bridge, and again fingers and toes crossed. We will also go on to the final phase by, you know, four weeks later," said Dr. Ezike.
The move into the Bridge Phase will allow for greater capacity limits at bars and restaurants as well as events such as weddings and festivals.
As part of the Bridge Phase, officers, personal care, retail, museums, theaters, health and fitness classes and amusement parks can operate at 60% capacity. Festivals and general admission outdoor events can have up to 30 people per 1,000 square feet. For social events, including wedding, 250 people are allowed inside and 500 outside.
For a full list of Bridge Phase metrics, visit the state website.
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Pritzker said Illinois will move into Phase 5, which removes nearly all COVID restrictions, as soon as June 11, barring a resurgence.
"Whenever we reach Phase 5, we will continue to follow CDC guidelines on masking to keep this pandemic at bay," Pritzker said.
The governor also announced a shift in vaccination strategy Thursday, with vaccines being given to more doctor offices. Pritzker said more than 1,000 offices have signed up to give vaccinations and pediatric doctors are also signing up for when vaccines will be available for children.
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According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, nearly 80% of those 65 and older have received at least one dose of the vaccine while just over 55% of those 16 and older have gotten at least one shot as well. Both statistics top the benchmarks the governor set back in March.
This comes as Chicago goes full steam ahead with the goal to fully reopen the city come July 4.
Mayor Lightfoot is bringing back the Chicago Auto Show and several arts and entertainment events for the summer.
There have been 1,351,497 total COVID cases, including 22,171 deaths in the state since the pandemic began.
Within the past 24 hours, laboratories have reported testing 101,005 specimens for a total of 23,204,489 since the pandemic began.
The preliminary seven-day statewide test positivity from April 30-May 6, is 3.7%.
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As of Thursday night, 1,977 patients in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19. Of those, 464 patients were in the ICU and 239 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators.
A total of 9,719,958 vaccines have been administered in Illinois as of Thursday night. The seven-day rolling average of vaccines administered daily is 65,750 doses. There were 73,526 doses reported administered in Illinois Thursday.
The deaths reported Friday include:
- Boone County: 1 male 60s
- Clark County: 1 female 80s
- Cook County: 2 females 50s, 1 male 50s, 4 females 60s, 1 male 60s, 2 males 70s, 3 males 80s, 2 males 90s
- DuPage County: 1 male 50s
- Franklin County: 1 male 50s
- Fulton County: 1 male 60s, 1 male 70s
- Grundy County: 1 male 40s
- Jefferson County: 1 female 70s
- Knox County: 1 female 90s
- Lake County: 1 male 50s, 1 male 70s
- LaSalle County: 1 female 80s
- Macon County: 1 male 80s
- Monroe County: 1 male 70s
- Peoria County: 1 female 70s
- St. Clair County: 1 female 60s
- Tazewell County: 1 female 70s, 1 male 80s
- Will County: 2 males 50s
- Williamson County: 1 female 70s