Chicago To Fully Reopen June 11 With The Rest Of Illinois
CHICAGO — City officials announced Thursday that Chicago will move up its full reopening date to match the state’s goal of June 11. Mayor Lori Lightfoot said the city is ready for Phase 5 after a year and a half of COVID-19 restrictions.
Lightfoot and Chicago Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady cited one of the lowest weekly averages of coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic as a key metric for reopening. Chicago is currently at an average of 135 new cases per day and has a 2 percent test positivity rate.
Originally, Lightfoot said the city would trail the rest of Illinois with a reopening goal of July 4.
“Before people uncork the Champagne and have beers all around, a note of caution,” Lightfoot told reporters. “COVID’s still here, still with us, and why we are able to do what we’re doing, no doubt, is as a result of the vaccinations.”
The city has yet to meet the desired 70 percent vaccination mark, a number that Lightfoot said is still a goal. Right now, about 41 percent of Chicagoans are fully vaccinated, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.
Phase 5 empowers businesses to get rid of capacity limits and restrictions, though masks will still be recommended on public transit, hospitals and schools.