Springfield, IL – Illinois could move into a new phase of re-opening from COVID-19 restrictions soon under a new “framework” presented by Gov. J.B. Pritzker last week.
“COVID-19 has not gone away, but the light we can see at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter and brighter as more people get vaccinated,” Pritzker said. “It’s time to begin to cautiously move toward normalcy, and it’s imperative that we do so in a way that maintains all the progress we’ve made to date.”
A key element of reopening is the White House plan to deliver a million or more doses of vaccine to the state each week, he said.
“I invite every Illinoisan to join me in wearing your mask and getting vaccinated when it’s your turn,” Pritzker said. “Step by step, we can get out of this the same way we came into it – together.”
The state is now in Phase 4 of its mitigation plan. The new lessening of restrictions will be called Phase 5 – a “new normal” – with a bridge between the two to ease into higher capacity limits at spectator events, museums, zoos, and increased business operations. To get there, Pritzker says the entire state must attain a 70 percent first-dose vaccination rate for residents 65 and over, and 50 percent for residents 16 and over. And COVID-19 cases, mortality rates and intensive-care availability must stabilize.
With allocations of vaccine doses increasing, all Illinois residents will be eligible to receive a vaccination beginning April 12. Until then, limits will remain for residents seeking to make appointments.
BUSINESS GROUPS APPROVE
The phased reopening plan has been welcomed by business groups such as the Illinois Retail Merchants Association, Illinois Hotel & Lodging Association and Illinois Restaurant Association.