Illinois will move into the Bridge Phase of its COVID reopening plan next week and is on track to fully reopen in Phase 5 as early as next month, Gov. J.B. Pritzker has announced.
Meanwhile, a long list of popular events will be returning to Chicago this summer as the city continues to reopen during the coronavirus pandemic.
And pediatricians, children’s hospitals and county health departments are making plans as the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine nears emergency use approval for kids ages 12 to 15.
Here are the latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic across Illinois today:
Pritzker Details When State Will Enter Bridge Phase of COVID Reopening Plan
Illinois will move into the Bridge Phase of its COVID reopening plan next week, Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced Thursday.
Pritzker detailed the move while giving a COVID-19 update alongside Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike and other health care providers.
"The number of people going into the hospital each day with COVID-19 has dropped, the total number of patients fighting COVID-19 in the hospital is beginning to level off, and our statewide ICU bed availability is above 20 percent," Pritzker said.
"As a result, on Friday, May 14th, the State of Illinois will move into the Bridge Phase of our mitigation plan – one step closer to removing nearly all of the remaining mitigations," Pritzker said. "For restaurants and bars and retail and weddings and public gatherings, this means higher capacity limits and a very hopeful move toward fully reopening."
Illinois to Fully Reopen and Enter Phase 5 Next Month, Gov. Pritzker Announces
Illinois is expected to fully reopen and enter Phase 5 of its COVID reopening plan next month, Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced Thursday.
Pritzker revealed plans to bring the state into the final reopening phase on June 11, "barring any significant reversals in our key COVID-19 statewide indicators."
Phase 5 would see all sectors of the economy fully reopened and no capacity limits, though Pritzker noted that the state will continue following mask guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Illinois Reopening Plan: What Restrictions Change in Phase 4, Bridge Phase and Phase 5
Currently in Phase 4, Illinois must first enter what's known as the Bridge Phase, a transitional period with looser restrictions and higher capacity limits before the final Phase 5. So what changes between Phase 4, the Bridge Phase and Phase 5? Here's a breakdown by category.
Illinois Doctors' Offices to Administer COVID Vaccine as Availability Expands, Pritzker Says
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced an expansion of the state’s vaccine rollout plan, saying that residents will soon be able to set up vaccination appointments with their primary care physicians.
“The days of vaccine scarcity are over,” Pritzker said Thursday. “Today, we are in a new phase of our Vaccine Administration Plan: of meeting people where they are and making sure they can get their shots in their doctor’s office.”
According to Pritzker, more than 1,000 physicians’ offices have already signed up to be part of the program, and the state is rolling out resources for more offices to do the same.
Coronavirus in Illinois: 1,778 New COVID Cases, 40 Deaths, 99K Vaccinations
Illinois health officials reported 1,778 new confirmed and probable coronavirus cases and 40 additional deaths in the last day, along with nearly 99,000 vaccinations administered.
The newly reported coronavirus cases Thursday bring the state total to 1,348,176 cases since the pandemic began and lift the total death toll to 22,136, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.
The statewide positivity rate dropped to 3% of all tests returning positive results, and the positivity rate for individuals tested in the last seven days dropped at 3.8%, according to IDPH data.
The state reported 99,599 vaccinations administered in the last day, according to the latest data. bringing the seven-day rolling average of vaccines administered to 70,063 doses.
Walk-In Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Appointments Coming to Kankakee, Other Illinois Counties
As the state of Illinois looks to continue to boost access to the coronavirus vaccine, state officials announced that rural vaccination teams will now provide walk-in appointments for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in the coming weeks.
According to a press release from Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s office, clinics will begin to offer the shots on a first come, first served basis beginning in Lawrence County on Wednesday. A second event conducted by one of the state’s mobile vaccination teams and members of the Illinois National Guard, is set for Friday in Macon County, according to the release.
For a list of Johnson & Johnson vaccine locations, click here.
With COVID Vaccinations for Ages 12-15 Expected, Chicago-Area Administrators Prepare
Pediatricians, children’s hospitals and county health departments are making plans as the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine nears emergency use approval for kids ages 12 to 15.
At Northwestern Children’s Practice in Chicago’s Gold Coast neighborhood, pediatricians have the Pfizer vaccine ready to go in the specialized freezer it requires. Parents can schedule the shots for kids in the approved age group once the FDA and the CDC give the okay.
Read more here.
COVID Vaccine for 12-to-15-Year-Olds: What Parents Should Know
With the U.S. Food and Drug Administration expected to authorize emergency use of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine for kids aged 12 to 15 potentially by next week, what can parents expect and what is known so far about the COVID vaccines and children?
Chicago Unveils List of New and Returning Summer Events as City Continues to Reopen
A long list of popular events will be returning to Chicago this summer as the city continues to reopen during the coronavirus pandemic, bringing back beloved concerts from Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Printer's Row Lit Fest, Broadway in Chicago and more, in addition to launching a new city music festival.
The announcement marks the latest reopening update for the city and is being called "Open Culture," an initiative aimed at providing a "summer of cultural events."
Among the events will be a new city music festival called "Chicago In Tune," and the return of the historic Maxwell Street Market, the Grant Park Music Festival, the Taste of Chicago To-Go community meals, and more.
Most of the events will have limited capacity and require advance registration.
For a list of the latest returning summer events, click here.
Chicago Launches Concert Series Exclusively for Residents Fully Vaccinated Against COVID
Chicago is launching a new concert series exclusively for residents who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, the city announced Tuesday.
The Protect Chicago Music Series will be a monthly series of events across the city as an "incentive and benefit" for Chicagoans who receive the COVID-19 vaccine, Mayor Lori Lightfoot's office said in a statement announcing the program.
Attendees must have received their second of two doses or their single-dose shot at least two weeks prior to be eligible to attend that event, according to the city. Events will be ticketed and attendees must bring their Centers for Disease Control and Prevention vaccination card as proof of vaccination, as well as a matching photo ID, officials said.
The first event will be held on May 22 in the city's Hyde Park neighborhood, with DJ Ron Trent and Duane Powell performing, officials said.
New Vaccination Site at Illinois Shooting Complex to Offer 100 Free Target Rounds to Vaccine Recipients
A new vaccination site at a southern Illinois shooting complex will offer COVID-19 vaccine recipients 100 free target rounds, officials announced Tuesday.
According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, anyone who receives the COVID vaccine at the Worldwide Shooting and Recreation Complex in Sparta will also receive 100 free targets of trap, skeet or sporting clays.
“If you come and get vaccinated at the World Shooting Recreational Complex vax site – which is already completely free – you’ll get 100 FREE targets of trap, skeet, or sporting clays, to use any time before the end of October,”Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said. “These vaccines are incredibly effective and protective for the person who gets them, but just as important, they make the whole community safer."
Read more here.
Chicago Travel Order Update: 18 States, Including Indiana, Now on List Requiring Quarantine or Negative COVID Test
Chicago updated its emergency travel order Tuesday, detailing where states currently stand on the city's list requiring travelers to quarantine or test negative for COVID-19 prior to their arrival in the city.
The "orange tier," which requires a quarantine or pre-arrival negative test before coming to Chicago, now lists 18 states, including neighboring Indiana, as well as Puerto Rico. The lesser yellow tier now includes 31 states as well as the District of Columbia. Which tier states are in depends on case rate adjusted for population.
Here's a look at which states are in either tier, according to the Chicago Department of Public Health:
- 31 yellow states and District of Columbia: Oklahoma, Mississippi, New Mexico, Arkansas, Louisiana, Nevada, Kansas, Wisconsin, California, Wyoming, Missouri, Hawaii, Utah, Arizona, Texas, Kentucky, Idaho, Montana, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, South Dakota, Maryland, Nebraska, Ohio, South Carolina, Virginia, Vermont, Alaska, Connecticut, District of Columbia, and Iowa
- 18 orange states and Puerto Rico: New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Florida, Delaware, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Minnesota, Michigan, Indiana, West Virginia, Maine, North Dakota, Puerto Rico, North Carolina, Oregon, and Washington
Chicago COVID Restrictions: City on Track to be ‘Fully Open' by July 4, Mayor Says
Chicago is on track to be "fully open" by the Fourth of July holiday, the city's mayor announced Tuesday.
During a press conference celebrating the return of the Chicago Auto Show this summer, Illinois' first large convention since the start of the pandemic, Lightfoot said the city aims to be "one of the first cities to fully and safely reopen in the nation."
"Every day that our COVID-19 metrics continue to tick downward, raises the day closer to be able to put this pandemic in the rearview mirror, and we are too close to accomplishing this mission to give up now," Lightfoot said. "Our goal, ladies and gentlemen, is to be fully open by July, 4. I am working night and day toward this goal, as is our public health department, but we and I need you to continue to be on this journey with us, and that means getting vaccinated now, as soon as possible."
Chicago Auto Show Returning to McCormick Place in July
The Chicago Auto Show is returning to the city this summer for the first time in more than a year, officials have announced.
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot together announced the show's return Tuesday, noting it will be the first large convention to take place in Chicago since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
The Chicago Auto Show will take place from July 15 through July 19 this year, officials said, shorter than the usual nine-day run that takes place in the winter. It will also be held both indoors and outdoors for the first time since it started in Chicago in 1901, officials said.
Fully Vaccinated? Here's Where to Score a Deal in the Chicago Area
Are you fully vaccinated against COVID-19? Don't miss the latest deals offered across the Chicago area, as various businesses have already begun serving up bargains for vaccinated individuals.
Here's where to find COVID vaccination deals nearby.
Hosting a Wedding, Graduation Party or Private Event in the Chicago Area? Here's What You Need to Know
Graduation and wedding seasons are fast approaching and this year's events will be unlike any other.
While most events were canceled or dramatically scaled down last year because of the coronavirus pandemic, more widely available vaccines and early signs of improvements in COVID metrics have enabled some jurisdictions to loosen restrictions on in-person gatherings.
To learn more on capacity limits and other new guidelines, click here.
Get the latest news on COVID vaccines in your inbox. Click here to sign up for our coronavirus newsletter.