Illinois set to enter Phase 5 later this month, says Pritzker – NBC Chicago
As the state of Illinois continues to see improvements in all of its key coronavirus measures, Gov. JB Pritzker has said his administration intends to move the state to the final stages of mitigation strategies COVID next week.
Pritzker, speaking after the Illinois General Assembly adjourned on Tuesday, said the state was on track to meet its goal of removing all remaining COVID restrictions by next week, citing improved state parameters as the reason for the decision to go ahead.
“We (are meeting our targets), and in fact this is (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 across all sectors of the economy, according to the state’s COVID website. Conventions, festivals and other large events would be allowed to run at full capacity, and masks will no longer be required for those vaccinated in most settings, per CDC guidelines.
The news comes as the state continues to experience dramatic declines in several key areas. Illinois has only once reported more than 1,000 new cases of COVID-19 in the past 10 days, including only 401 new cases on Tuesday. The state’s positivity rate on testing continued to drop to record levels, and over the weekend, the state set a new low threshold for COVID hospitalizations, with just over 1,000 residents currently hospitalized because of the virus.
Of the 1,031 COVID patients currently in hospital, 284 are in intensive care beds and 162 are currently on ventilators, state officials say.
The city of Chicago has yet to announce whether it will move to Phase 5 with the rest of Illinois, but Mayor Lori Lightfoot said the city is seeing the same positive changes in the settings.