Pritzker: Broader reopening to begin next week

Pritzker: Broader reopening to begin next week

By PETER HANCOCK
Capitol News Illinois
phancock@capitolnewsillinois.com

SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker said Thursday that Illinois will enter the “bridge” phase to full reopening on Friday, May 14. And barring any reversal of current trends, Phase 5, or full reopening, will begin on June 11.

He also announced that residents can now obtain COVID-19 vaccines from their physicians’ offices, rather than just designated vaccine sites, as public health officials continue to confront hesitancy within many communities to accept the vaccines.

Thursday’s announcement came as the state reached a new benchmark of having 55 percent of adults age 16 and over, and 80 percent of people age 65 and over, having received at least one dose of vaccine, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health. Meanwhile, the daily number of new cases, hospitalization rates and intensive care unit usage have all been falling or leveling off.

“This good news comes with a caveat,” Pritzker said. “We have all seen throughout this pandemic that this virus and its variants have proven to be unpredictable. Metrics that look strong today are far from a guarantee of how things will look a week, two weeks, a month from now. We saw that last August, and again last March.”

Under the bridge phase – a transition phase between the current Phase 4 mitigations and the virtually complete reopening of Phase 5 – certain capacity limits will be eased at various kinds of events. Restaurants, for example, will be allowed to increase from 25 to 30 percent of capacity, as long as people maintain six feet of distance from one another, while offices, personal care facilities and retail service counters can increase from 50 to 60 percent of capacity.

When the state reaches Phase 5, Pritzker said, virtually all mitigation restrictions will be lifted, although the state will still follow guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention regarding wearing masks in large, crowded situations and maintaining safe social distancing.

Although Illinois has succeeded in getting a large percentage of its adult population vaccinated, IDPH reports that the daily rate of vaccinations has been declining as large segments of the population have been reluctant to receive their shots.

As of Thursday, the seven-day rolling average of daily doses administered stood at 70,063, down from a peak of nearly 133,000 per day in mid-April. But with the supply of vaccines now large enough to provide vaccines to anyone who wants one, Pritzker said he hoped that making them available through physicians’ offices will make it more convenient for more people.

“This is about making it as easy as possible for those who have not yet gotten vaccinated to protect themselves from COVID-19,” he said.

Still, there remain pockets of society that remain hesitant, whether that be for cultural, political or religious reasons, and the Pritzker administration is continuing its public relations campaign to reach out to those communities.

According to IDPH data, Sangamon County, which includes Springfield, has the highest rate of vaccination with nearly 39 percent of its population fully vaccinated. But in Alexander County, which includes Cairo at the southern tip of Illinois, only 11 percent are fully vaccinated.

Joining Pritzker at Thursday’s news conference was Dr. Rodney Alford, an African American pediatric and internal medicine specialist at Iroquois Memorial Hospital and a trustee of the Illinois State Medical Society.

“I myself belong to that community that has vaccine hesitancy,” he said. “I belong to the Black and brown community. I belong to the conservative Christian community. I belong to the urban community. I now live in a rural community. But I am not hesitant to live without fear. I am truly free.”

Although the rate of spread of the virus has been declining, IDPH continues to report a steady stream of new cases each day. On Thursday, the agency reported 1,778 new confirmed and probable cases over the previous 24 hours and 40 additional deaths.

The preliminary seven-day statewide average case positivity rate for cases as a percent of tests performed stood at 3.0 percent, the lowest it has been since March 27

As of late Wednesday night, 2,055 people in Illinois were reported hospitalized with the disease, including 483 patients in intensive care units and 243 on ventilators. 

 

Jobless claims drop

Illinois also continued to see a drop in the number of new unemployment claims over the past week, although the total number of people unemployed remained at historically high levels.

The Illinois Department of Employment Security reported 15,134 new jobless claims were filed during the week that ended Saturday, May 1. That was down from 17,141 from the prior week, but it was considerably less than the 74,476 workers who filed initial claims during the same week a year ago.

Meanwhile, U.S. Department of Labor reported a total of just under 250,000 Illinois workers were receiving continuing regular unemployment benefits at the end of April.

 

Capitol News Illinois is a nonprofit, nonpartisan news service covering state government and distributed to more than 400 newspapers statewide. It is funded primarily by the Illinois Press Foundation and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation.

Leave a Comment





Local News

Shepard basketball coach Corey Wolf draws up a play during the Astros game against Argo June 14 at the Stagg Shootout. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Corey Wolf ‘living the dream’ as new Shepard hoops coach

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Correspondent For Corey Wolf, obtaining the ultimate high school basketball prize started in the summer of 2007. Wolf was playing for a Richards team that had showed much promise, having gone 26-3 and winning a regional title the previous season. Then-Bulldogs coach John Chappetto let his players know when summer…

Mallory Swanson of the Chicago Red Stars had a goal and assist in a 2-2 draw with Kansas City. IMAGN photo

Staab header helps Red Stars forge draw with KC

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Correspondent Heading into the weekend, only Kansas City and Orlando were unbeaten among NWSL teams. The teams were tied atop the league standings, with each sporting 8-0-4 records. They now share another common denominator: Both have forged draws with the Red Stars. Red Stars defender Sam Stabb’s header in the…

NWSL ball

Red Stars unhappy with Riot Fest conflict

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Correspondent Among the bands that will headline the newly minted Riot Fest music festival are Chicago-area natives Fall Out Boy. The annual concert featuring an eclectic mix of musical acts will be held in Bridgeview Sept. 20-22 — and boy, oh boy, there is a lot of fallout from the…

Sandburg sophomore Daniel Morakinyo is looking forward to the 35-second shot clock, which will be used for the first time in Illinois high school basketball when he is a senior. Photo by Jeff Vorva

It’s about time | Illinois high school hoops gets 35-second shot clock beginning with 2026-27 season

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Correspondent Count Sandburg sophomore Daniel Morakinyo as someone who can’t wait for the 2026-2027 basketball season. The rising guard/forward will be a senior that year, and he will embrace the IHSA’s implementation of a 35-second shot clock for varsity boys and girls basketball. “It’s a good feature,” Morakinyo said after…

Mayor Terry Vorderer presents a plaque to Michael Reising for earning Eagle Scout recognition. The award was presented during the Oak Lawn Village Board meeting June 11 night. (Photo by Joe Boyle)

Oak Lawn police target drivers who ignore stop signs

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Joe Boyle Oak Lawn police are going to crack down on reckless drivers who repeatedly blow stop signs throughout the village. And police will begin enforcing those measures within the next two weeks. The subject was brought up during the Oak Lawn Village Board meeting June 11. Village Manager Tom Phelan said…

Student volunteers from Brother Rice, St. Rita and St. Laurence assist in the
burial of 160 indigents  last week at Mount Olivet Cemetery. (Photos by Nuha Abdessalam)

Volunteers from Brother Rice, St. Rita and St. Laurence help indigent on their final journey

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Nuha Abdessalam Father Larry Sullivan, a director of Catholic Cemeteries of the Archdiocese of Chicago and pastor of Christ the King Parish, joined County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and spoke words of love, respect, and God at the 35th annual committal service at Mount Olivet Cemetery. The service on June 6 at…

dvn 6-14-24 riot fest lineup

Riot Fest abandons Chicago park for SeatGeek Stadium

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Bob Bong Last year, Lyrical Lemonade moved its Summer Smash hip-hop music festival from Chicago’s Douglass Park to Bridgeview’s SeatGeek Stadium. Thousands of fans poured into the stadium at 7100 S. Harlem Ave. over the course of three days and, by most accounts, enjoyed the experience. Summer Smash returned to SeatGeek this…

Alyssa Blomberg of the group Ramzi and the Loafers, sings during a performance last year at Orland Park’s inaugural SummerFest. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Comings & Goings: Orland Park Summerfest returns this weekend

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Bob Bong Back for a second go round this weekend is the Orland Park Area Chamber of Commerce’s Summerfest. The event combines a carnival, live music, an array of dining options and a car show, at the 153rd Street Metra Station location in Orland Park and will run from Friday, June 14,…

dvn 6-13-24 township repair cafe for 6-15

Repair Cafe this Saturday at Township of Lyons HQ

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Steve Metsch Repair cafes have become quite the thing for the Township of Lyons. So much so that another repair cafe will be offered from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. this Saturday, June 15, at the township office, 6404 Joliet Road in Countryside. A repair café held in May was a smashing…

Father’s Day will be especially hard for Jonathan and Kayla, children of the late Arturo Cantu, one of his sisters said. (Supplied photo)

‘They didn’t have to kill my brother’ – sister of slain Bridgeview man

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Steve Metsch Arturo Cantu should be celebrating two big events this weekend. He would have celebrated his 40th birthday on June 14. And, a sister said, he would have enjoyed Father’s Day on Sunday, spending time with family and his two young children. Instead, 10 family members and friends gathered in a…

Neighbors

Engineer Carl Germann (left) and executive producer Ron Jankowski helped Channel 4 in Palos Heights to a successful 2021. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Broadcast news — Palos Heights’ Channel 4 has big 2021

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva The first Palos Heights city council meeting of 2022 featured a few minutes of bragging about Channel 4’s success in 2021. The local cable channel had a record-breaking year and Alderman Jerry McGovern was more than happy to run down the happy totals at Tuesday’s board meeting at City Hall.…

The Rios family plans to make The Great American Bagel shop at 12774 S. Harlem Ave. a go-to breakfast and lunch choice in Palos Heights and beyond. Pictured (from left) are Manny Jr. Manny Sr., daughter Silvia, Mia and mother Silvia Rios. (Photo by Cosmo Hadac)

Experienced bakers buy The Great American Bagel in Palos Heights

Spread the love

Spread the loveNew owners nearly double the menu for breakfast, lunch   By Cosmo Hadac When The Great American Bagel’s shop in Palos Heights changed hands late last year, the new owners who walked in the door weren’t exactly new. Manny Rios Sr. and his wife, Silvia, have nearly 50 years of combined experience in…

SRP-IMAGE-Logo

New owner will keep Palmer Place name and burgers Copy

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy  Steve Metsch Palmer Place Restaurant and Biergarten, a mainstay in downtown La Grange for nearly 40 years, will soon have new owners. But not much else will change. The name on 56 S. La Grange Road will still read Palmer Place. The employees now there will still have their jobs. And the…

SRP-IMAGE-Logo

Clear-Ridge Reporter and NewsHound PDF January 19, 2022

Spread the love

Spread the love

Palos Park Mayor John Mahoney and the village council could make a decision on Monday regarding video gaming. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Palos Park could be making its decision on gaming on Monday

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Will Palos Park make its decision on bringing in gaming machines to the village on Monday? The world will have to wait until Monday to find out. The village council will meet for the first time in 2022 on Monday after its Jan. 10 meeting was cancelled because of a…

Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau said that mandates from Cook County are unlawful. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Pekau takes Rubin and Foxx to task over mandate punishments

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Orland Park has Cook’s County’s attention. The village’s decision to vote against enforcing Cook County COVID-19 mandates at a special meeting Dec. 28 has been a hot topic. The village’s position is that businesses need not require proof of vaccination for patrons to enter. Some businesses are taking the board…

CRRNH_FrontPageStory_011922

‘These bruises won’t heal’

Spread the love

Spread the loveCPS kids back in school, but bitterness remains By Tim Hadac Teachers who walked off the job in the new year returned last week after the Chicago Teachers Union rank and file voted to accept Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s offer of increased safety measures at schools. But it was a divided vote, with just…

CRRNH_JohnShakerAnd Burt_011922

Smooch from a pooch

Spread the love

Spread the loveMutts of the Midway volunteer John Shaker smiles as he gets a smooch from Burt, a 5-year-old American Pit Bull/Boston Terrier mix. Shaker works as a transporter, driving dogs to and from veterinarian appointments. The 37-pound Burt was rescued by the non-profit Mutts of the Midway from a shelter in Texas. For several…

The Clear-Ridge Little League is scheduled to start its games in April, but signup is occurring now. --File photo

Here’s a sure sign of spring

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Joan Hadac Your correspondent in Clearing and Garfield Ridge (708) 496-0265 • joan.hadac@gmail.com Hi everyone. How have you been surviving January? This is one month I always hope flies by. If the sun is out, the temperatures are, or feel like they are in the subzero range. If it’s cloudy, which is most…

Justice Police Chief Kraig McDermott (from left), Justice Police and Fire Commissioner Don McGuire, Justice Police Officer Kady Sassenger, and Justice Mayor Kris Wasowicz. (Photo by Carol McGowan)

Justice swears in new police officer

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Carol McGowan The Justice Village Board approved the recommendation of the Justice Fire and Police Commission to hire Police Officer Kady Sassenger at its January 10 meeting. Her move from the Coal City Police Department to Justice is considered a lateral move, which means the officer transfers from one department to another…