Governor Pritzker says Illinois will transfer into the bridge part on Might 14th, may absolutely reopen by June

File Photo – Illinois Governor JB Pritzker | Photo: Illinois Information Service.

Governor JB Pritzker announced Thursday that Illinois will enter the bridge phase of reopening on May 14, and the state could be fully reopened as early as June without restrictions.

This was announced by Pritzker during a press conference on Thursday afternoon at the James Thompson Center in Chicago.

“This good news comes with a caveat. We have all seen during this pandemic that this virus and its variants have proven to be unpredictable. Metrics that look strong today are no guarantee of how things will look in a week, two weeks, a month, ”said Pritzker.

He said we now have “tools in our arsenal” like vaccines and masks that are “extremely effective”.

Pritzker added that the days of vaccine shortages are over and his government is starting to send vaccine doses to doctor’s offices across Illinois.

Illinois could enter phase 5 of its reopening plan on June 11, based on May 14 of the bridge phase advancing, Pritzker said during his news conference.

Every health region in the state is currently in Phase 4 of Restore Illinois’ five-phase recovery plan, with Phase 5 including a return to normal after the pandemic with 100% capacity limits.

The “bridge phase”, which lies between phase 4 and phase 5, serves as a transition phase with higher capacity limits and increased business operations.

The bridge phase consists of the following restrictions: standing room for dining with a limit of 30% indoors and 50% outdoors; Health and fitness at 60% occupancy and group lessons of 50 or less indoor; Festivals and outdoor spectator events with 30 people per 1,000 square feet; Flea and Farmers Markets with a cap of 15 people per 1,000 square feet indoors and 30 people per 1,000 square feet outdoors; Conferences and congresses with a limit of 1,000 people or a capacity of 60%; Leisure establishments with a limit of 100 people or a capacity of 50% indoors; social events with 250 people indoors and 500 people outdoors.

Offices, personal care businesses, retail and service counter stores, amusement parks, film productions, museums, ticket and seating events, theaters and performing arts, and zoos will be capped at 60% during the bridge phase.

All regions of the state will jointly go through the bridging phase and finally phase 5. The state’s mask mandate will continue in accordance with current CDC guidelines, the governor said.

The bridge to phase 5 enables higher capacity limits in places such as museums, zoos and spectator events as well as increased business operations.

In order to get into the bridging phase, the entire state must achieve a 70 percent initial vaccination rate for residents aged 65 and over, which has already been achieved.

The state must also maintain an intensive care bed availability rate of 20% or less and keep COVID-19 hospital admissions, mortality rates, and case rates constant over a 28-day monitoring period.

Currently, the state is seeing an increasing trend in COVID-19 deaths that is delaying the transition to the bridge phase until May 14.

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