As the state of Illinois continues to see improvements in all of its key coronavirus metrics, Gov. J.B. Pritzker says that his administration intends to move the state into the final phase of COVID mitigation strategies next week.
Pritzker, speaking after the Illinois General Assembly adjourned on Tuesday, said that the state is on pace to meet its goal of eliminating all remaining COVID restrictions by next week, citing improvements in the state’s metrics as the reason behind the decision to move forward.
“We are (meeting our goals), and in fact it’s (Phase 5) scheduled for June 11,” Pritzker said.
Phase 5 of the state’s coronavirus reopening plan would remove all remaining capacity limits and restrictions on all sectors of the economy, according to the state’s COVID website. Conventions, festivals and other large events would be allowed to proceed at full capacity, and masks will no longer be required for vaccinated individuals in most settings, per CDC guidance.
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This news comes as the state continues to see dramatic declines in several key areas. Illinois has only reported more than 1,000 new cases of COVID-19 once in the last 10 days, including just 401 new cases on Tuesday. The state’s positivity rate on tests has continued to drop to record lows, and over the weekend the state set a new low-watermark for COVID hospitalizations, with just over 1,000 residents currently hospitalized because of the virus.
Of the 1,031 COVID patients currently hospitalized, 284 are in ICU beds, and 162 are currently on ventilators, according to state officials.
The city of Chicago has not yet announced whether it will proceed into Phase 5 with the rest of Illinois, but Mayor Lori Lightfoot has said that the city is seeing the same positive changes in metrics.