Pritzker To Unveil Phased-In Reopening This Week

By Benjamin Cox on March 15, 2021 at 5:03pm

Governor J.B. Pritzker is expected to unveil a phased-in reopening of the state this week. The Chicago Tribune reports that officials inside the Pritzker Administration say that the Governor’s Office and the Illinois Department of Public Health are working on a staged approach that will more gradually move the state from current coronavirus restrictions to a full reopening.

In Phase 5 of the governor’s Restore Illinois plan, “all sectors of the economy reopen” and “conventions, festivals, and large events can take place.” IDPH Director Ngozi Ezike said today in a state Senate Health Committee meeting that to get “from where we are now to phase five, (is) maybe not just an on-off switch but a dial, so there may be one more phase.”

Ezike said the key bench marks that will lead to full reopening include having a majority of seniors vaccinated, as well as consideration of overall vaccinations, and seeing the number of COVID-19 related deaths continue to go down. She also said that masks in public won’t be going away anytime soon.

Earlier today, public health officials said that the statewide total of vaccinations was 4,102,810. The number of residents who have been fully vaccinated — receiving both of the required shots, or Johnson & Johnson’s single shot — reached 1,524,765, or 11.97% of the total population.

Today’s 782 reported COVID-19 cases were the lowest statewide total since July 14th, according to IDPH data.

Passavant Area Hospital CEO Dr. Scott Boston said on Friday that Morgan County is at approximately 20% vaccinated. The Morgan County Health Department reported 10 new cases today, the highest total since March 2nd. Cases in the county haven’t been higher than 10, since February 17th.