CHICAGO (WGEM) — Gov. Pritzker confirmed Thursday the entire state will move into the Bridge Phase of the Restore Illinois reopening plan Friday.
The Bridge Phase is the final step before the full reopening of Phase 5.
Under Bridge Phase, there are expanded capacity limits for businesses, dining, offices, events, conferences, and gatherings. Barring any significant reversals in key COVID-19 statewide indicators, including increasing hospitalizations, Illinois could enter Phase 5 as soon as Friday, June 11.
The state will continue to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance on mask-wearing in Phase 5.
“Illinoisans have worked so hard over the past year and a half to keep their families and neighbors safe, and reaching Bridge Phase means that we’re closer than ever to a return to normalcy,” said Gov. JB Pritzker. “To keep up this progress, I urge every eligible Illinoisan – now including 12 to 15-year-olds – to get vaccinated as soon as possible.”
The governor’s office stated more than 10.3 million vaccine doses have been administered to Illinoisans at mass vaccination sites, local health departments, pharmacies, federally qualified health centers, mobile clinics, and other locations across the state. Doctors’ offices are starting to administer vaccine to their patients.
Beginning Thursday, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is available to youth ages 12 through 17 years after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday accepted the recommendation from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices to expand the use of the vaccine. The Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are authorized for those 18 years of age and older.
“The more people who are vaccinated, now including our youth as young as 12-years-old, the quicker we can end this pandemic,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike. “While more than 62% of adults in Illinois have received at least one dose of the vaccine, we still need more people to get vaccinated. Please talk with your doctor or health care provider if you have questions about the vaccine and know the facts so that you can make the most informed decision.”
IDPH stated it will continue to monitor the number of ICU hospital beds that are available, the number of patients who are hospitalized with COVID-19, and the number of people being newly admitted to the hospital because of COVID-19-like-illness. Should the state see a significant increase in deaths, hospitalizations, and the number of people being admitted to the hospital because of COVID-19, the state will remain in the Bridge Phase instead of moving to Phase 5.
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