With COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continuing to trend downward, Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker said the state could fully lift mitigation measures and return to normalcy in early June.
Pritzker announced Thursday, May 6, that the state is poised to enter the “Bridge Phase” of its reopening plan May 14 and then move to the mitigation-free Phase 5 by June 11.
During a May 6 press conference, Pritzker said Illinois could enter the final stage of its reopening plan “barring any significant reversals in our key COVID-19 statewide indicators.”
Pritzker noted that Illinois is on track to enter the Bridge Phase next week. The governor previously detailed the Bridge phase in mid-March, calling it a time in which officials hope to lift the overwhelming majority of mitigation measures throughout the state. Higher capacity limits across a range of businesses and increased attendances at events are allowable under the phase.
The reopening news comes at a time when local officials are mulling their summer plans. Winnetka and Glencoe have already pushed their Fourth of July celebrations, while Wilmette and Northfield are deciding, as reported by The Record this week.
North Shore concert venue Ravinia Festival announced its lineup of in-person shows this week.
The state saw 4,004 new cases of COVID-19 on April 9. That number has steadily fallen and not eclipsed 4,000 since. On May 6, the state recorded 1,178 new cases.
In Region 10, a state designation for suburban Cook County, the positivity rate has fallen to 4.6 percent as of May 3 and has been above 6 percent since Jan. 29. The April surge peaked at 5.7 percent on April 13.
Even more locally, New Trier Township’s weekly average positivity fell to 2.1 percent on May 6, according to data kept by New Trier High School. It is the lowest mark since Oct. 1, according to NTHS.
While case numbers are steadily declining, the rate at which Illinois residents are getting vaccinated is as well.
The state is averaging a 7-day rolling average of 70,063 vaccinations, according to the state’s data. Illinois’ rolling average of vaccinations peaked at more than 132,900 in mid-April.
So far the state has administered 9.64 million vaccinations and 4.28 million residents are fully vaccinated. More than 33 percent of residents are fully vaccinated, data shows.
In Cook County, 1.98 million vaccine doses have been administered. County data shows that 872,096 residents are fully vaccinated, equalling 35.2 percent of the population.
Government-run vaccination facilities, as well as pharmacies at CVS, Walgreens and Walmart are now accepting walk-in vaccination appointments.
Suburban Cook County residents seeking a vaccine appointment should visit vaccine.cookcountyil.gov or call (833) 308-1988.
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Martin Carlino is a co-founder and the senior editor who assigns and edits The Record stories, while also bylining articles every week. Martin is an experienced and award-winning education reporter who was the editor of The Northbrook Tower.