Illinois announces pathway to fully reopen state, vaccine eligibility expands


CHICAGO, Ill. — Governor JB Pritzker announced a new path forward for Illinois to fully reopen. The state is adding a bridge phase between Phase 4 and Phase 5 of the Restore IllinoisPlan.

Gov. Pritzker said the new “bridge phase” will serve as a transition period with higher capacity limits and increased business operations. It will be a metric-based plan.

Also, starting April 12, all Illinois residents age 16 and older will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. The bridge phase is dependent on the percentage of residents vaccinated in the state.

All regions of Illinois are in Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois plan. Phase 5 is a post-pandemic stage.

He said this will allow things to reopen without embracing a “reckless reopening before the majority of Illinoisians have been vaccinated.”

set to announce Thursday that all Illinois residents 16 and older will be eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations starting on April 12

These are the metrics to reach the Bridge Phase:

  • Entire state must reach a 70% first dose vaccination rate for residents 65 and over
  • Maintain a 20% or lower ICU bed availability rate and hold steady on COVID-19 and COVID-like illness hospital admissions, mortality rate, and case rate over a 28-day monitoring period

These To advance to Phase 5:-

  • Entire state must reach a 50% vaccination rate for residents age 16 and over
  • Meet the same metrics and rates required to enter the bridge phase, over an additional 28-day period. 

To prevent a large increase in COVID-19 cases, the entire state will revert back to an earlier phase if the state sees an increasing trend over a 10-day period, COVID-like illness hospital admissions, a decrease in ICU bed availability, an increase in the mortality rate, and an increasing case rate.

The state’s mask mandate will remain in place with current CDC guidance.

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