NOTE: Watch the governor's news conference live beginning at 2:30 p.m. in the player above
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker is set to deliver an update on the state's coronavirus response Monday, days before regions can begin lifting Tier 3 restrictions if they meet certain criteria.
Pritzker is expected to speak at 2:30 p.m. from the governor's office at he Illinois State Capitol in Springfield, according to his public schedule. (Watch live in the player above)
The briefing comes after Pritzker last week announced that Illinois' 11 regions can begin lifting Tier 3 restrictions as early as on Jan. 15, provided that the region has met the metrics required to loosen the guidelines.
"Since Nov. 30, I have maintained – at the advice of Dr. [Anthony] Fauci, the [Illinois Department of Public Health] and other infectious disease experts – that it would be unwise to downgrade any region from our current Tier Three mitigations while in the holiday season, when people were particularly prone to gather in multi-family groups and do it without masks – the things that could deliver the worrisome 'surge upon a surge,'" Pritzker said during a briefing on Jan. 6.
"I’m cautiously optimistic as there are some early signs indicating that some regions have made real progress and won’t reverse that progress this week or next," Pritzker continued.
All of Illinois have been under Tier 3 mitigations since Nov. 20, which have lowered capacity limitations for outdoor dining and other activities, suspended indoor dining entirely, shut down indoor recreation venues like theaters and casinos and increased other restrictions.
A region can move to Tier 2 mitigations if it sees a test positivity rate less than 12% for three consecutive days and more than 20% of ICU and hospital beds are available, as well as declining COVID-19 hospitalizations in seven of the previous 10 days.
Also last week, Pritzker announced the state's plan for the next phase of its coronavirus vaccine rollout.
Phase 1B will center on residents age 65 years and older and "frontline essential workers," including first responders, education workers like teachers and support staff, childcare workers, grocery store employees, postal service workers, and more.
The age requirement in Illinois is 10 years lower than the recommendations from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, "in order to reduce COVID-19 mortality and limit community spread in Black and Brown communities," the governor said.
Phase 1B will include roughly 3.2 million Illinois residents, according to the state.
Illinois health officials reported 4,711 new confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases in the state on Sunday, along with 81 additional deaths attributed to the virus. Those figures brought the state to 1,028,750 coronavirus cases and 17,574 deaths since the pandemic began.