CHICAGO (WREX) — Illinois is one step closer to having businesses operating at a pre-pandemic status.
On Thursday, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker announced the state is moving into the “Bridge Phase” of reopening on Friday, May 14.
Under the “Bridge Phase” of reopening, businesses can expand capacity limits from 50% to 60%.
See a full breakdown of the ‘Bridge Phase’ by clicking here.
The governor also announced the state is currently on pace to hit Phase 5, meaning fully restored, on Friday, June 11.
Gov. Pritzker did say the target date of June 11 for Phase 5 is subject to change.
Gov. Pritzker says even when Illinois moves into Phase 5, masks still may be required. The governor says the state has and will continue to follow CDC guidance when it comes to wearing masks.
MORE: Will I need to wear a mask during the final phase of reopening Illinois?
“This good news comes with a caveat: 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,” Gov. Pritzker said. “What we do know is we have tools in our arsenal — like vaccinations and wearing masks — that, if we all use them, have proven extremely effective.”
The state’s top doctor, Dr. Ngozi Ezike, echoed the governor’s sentiment and continued to urge people get vaccinated.
“We will not waste any opportunity to get someone vaccinated because we know this vaccine is a lifesaver,” Dr. Ezike said.
A total of 9,646,432 vaccines have been administered in Illinois as of last midnight, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health. 85% of Illinoisans 65 years and older have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose, according to IDPH.
IDPH is currently reporting a total of 1,348,176 cases, including 22,136 deaths, since the pandemic started last year.
Want to see how many vaccines have been administered in your county? Check out our exclusive COVID-19 Tracker.Are you fully vaccinated? Click here for guidance from the CDC.Click here for the latest information from the Illinois Department of Public Health.Looking for local information on the COVID-19 vaccine? Click here.Click here for News 3 WSIL’s latest coronavirus coverage.