Illinois COVID-19 Update: IL reports 626 cases, 15 deaths
CHICAGO (WLS) -- Governor J.B. Pritzker released guidelines Friday, outlining Phase 5 of the Restore Illinois plan that will go into effect on June 11.
The latest phase marks a full reopening of all businesses and activities across the state since the start of the pandemic.
Under the new guidance, businesses, large-scale events, conventions amusement parks and seated-spectator venues, among others, will be able to operate a full capacity.
The loosening restrictions are eagerly anticipated as temperatures soar and people look to get back to summer fun.
In downtown La Grange there were large crowds and big smiles enjoying a carnival. In Chicago, it was postcard perfect by the lake. Boats were on the water, bodies were on the beaches, and possibility was on the menu.
"The vibe that everybody has is so positive. It's like everybody's full of energy, ready to enjoy life again," said Ernesto Alvarez, assistant general manager for Caffe Oliva.
The announcement comes as IL health officials say the state has seen a steady decrease in new positive COVID-19 cases in recent weeks. The state's test positivity rate has also reached a rate of less than 2%, in addition to over 67% of residents 18 and older receiving at least their first vaccine dose.
"After a tremendously challenging year, Illinois has now reached a defining moment in our efforts to defeat COVID-19," said Governor JB Pritzker. "Thanks to the hard work of residents across the state, Illinois will soon resume life as we knew it before - returning to events, gatherings, and a fully reopened economy, with some of the safety guidelines we've adopted still in place. As we fully reopen, this administration remains laser-focused on ensuring a strong recovery for our small businesses and communities. Our FY22 budget invests $1.5 billion in small business relief, tourism, job-creating capital projects and more and we look forward to getting these dollars to communities across our state as quickly as possible."
Phase 5 guidance:
Illinois public health officials reported 626 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 and 15 related deaths Friday as the state moves toward a full reopening next week.
There have been 1,384,365 total COVID cases, including 22,880 deaths in the state since the pandemic began.
Within the past 24 hours, laboratories have reported testing 65,300 specimens for a total of 24,796,789 since the pandemic began.
The preliminary seven-day statewide test positivity from May 28 to June 3, is 1.6%, the lowest it has been since it started being reported on Oct. 29.
As of Thursday night, 901 patients in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19. Of those, 247 patients were in the ICU and 140 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators.
A total of 11,427,833 vaccines have been administered in Illinois as of Thursday night. The seven-day rolling average of vaccines administered daily is 36,025 doses. There were 53,156 doses reported administered in Illinois Thursday.
Officials reported Friday that 67% of adults have received a COVID vaccine and nearly 51% are fully vaccinated.
Chicago health officials talked about expanding their hyper-local vaccine outreach Friday. It will include door-to-door canvassing to encourage people to get their shots.
"We are at 63% right now," CDPH Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said in Englewood Friday. "I'm not sure we are going to get there, but we are going to get as close as we can with the works of all these folks."
Going door to door is part of the city's latest strategy to meet President Biden's goal of 70% vaccinated by July 4.
Officials will be going to 13 communities that have the lowest vaccination rates.
"Community by community, block-by-block, house-by-house, we will continue to talk with Chicagoans about the safety and effectiveness of vaccines, and let them know when and where they can get vaccinated to protect themselves and their families from COVID-19," Dr. Arwady said. "Our goal is to make it as easy as possible for Chicagoans who have not yet been vaccinated to get the vaccine."
Englewood has the lowest vaccination rate in the city. In Garfield Park and South Austin, about 30% of residents have received their first dose.
The first 13 communities to be targeted for block-by-block canvassing are: Auburn Gresham, Austin, Chatham, East Garfield Park, Englewood, Hegewisch, Montclare, Riverdale, Roseland, South Deering, South Shore, West Englewood and West Garfield Park.
City data show a big disparity between the South and West sides, compared to those neighborhoods closer to the Loop.
Canvassers in these neighborhoods will be identified by Protect Chicago-branded vests, buttons and masks, so residents can easily identify canvassing teams. Canvassers will not enter homes, but they will be able to sign people up for vaccine appointments, including in-home vaccination for qualifying individuals.
The canvassers include individuals from community-based organizations, the Chicago COVID Contact Tracing Corps, the Chicagoland Vaccine Partnership, aldermanic offices and other community partners.
Chicagoans interested in learning more about becoming a Vaccine Ambassador or canvassing to increase vaccine uptake in their communities can visit https://pages.ccc.edu/apply/mxvaccine/ or email email@example.com.
The city is also hoping incentives will entice more people to get the vaccinated, like at one local barbershop where they will be giving free haircuts for the shot.
It's Official Barbershop in Englewood is participating in the new city program called Vax and Relax.
"I think it's fine to do any means necessary to let them know how serious the matter is," said It's Official Barbershop owner Channal Coleman.
Coleman, and some of her older customers, hope free haircuts will convince 18-24 year olds to get vaccinated -- a group the city says needs to step up.
"I want to be here as many years as I can, but the young folks need to feel the same," said customer Gerald Coleman.
The city recently announced the expansion of its in-home vaccination program, called Protect Chicago At Home. Anyone age 65 or older, or with a disability or medical condition, is now eligible. Residents can call (312) 746-4835 to schedule an appointment for in-home vaccination.
The latest efforts are a continuation of Chicago's Protect Chicago Plus program, one Dr. Arwady says has been a success.
For information about COVID-19 vaccines in Chicago, visit www.chicago.gov/covidvax.
The deaths reported Friday include:
- Champaign County: 1 male 80s
- Christian County: 1 female 60s
- Cook County: 1 female 70s, 1 male 80s, 1 male 90s
- DuPage County: 1 female 70s
- Henry County; 1 male 60s
- Kane County: 1 male 50s
- LaSalle County: 1 male 60s
- McHenry County: 1 male 70s
- Vermilion County: 1 male 90s
- Whiteside County: 1 female 70s
- Will County: 1 female 80s
- Winnebago County: 1 female 70s, 1 male 70s