SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (KMOV.com) — Gov. J.B. Pritzker formally announced Friday that in one week, Illinois will enter Phase 5 of the state’s COVID-19 recovery plan, allowing all businesses and industries to fully reopen.
Most COVID-19 metrics are at the lowest levels of the pandemic. Wednesday, the Illinois Department of Public Health reported 674 new cases diagnosed among 55,432 tests, keeping the average statewide positivity rate at an all-time low of 1.5%.
The reopening of Illinois next week follows 15 months of rules that at times included a ban of indoor dining, all-remote learning at public schools, a stay-at-home order and other constraints in the name of public health.
Friday will mean businesses, large-scale events, conventions, amusement parks, and seated-spectator venues, among others, will be able to operate at full capacity for the first time since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The State is also lifting the outdoor mask requirement in schools.
“After a tremendously challenging year, Illinois has now reached a defining moment in our efforts to defeat COVID-19,” Pritzker said in a release. “Thanks to the hard work of residents across the state, Illinois will soon resume life as we knew it before
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced Thursday she has moved up the city’s timetable for a full reopening to match the rest of the state.
Lightfoot had planned to allow bars, restaurants, hotels and sports stadiums to open to full capacity on July 4. Now she says the city is ready to join the rest of the state in lifting all capacity restrictions on June 11. However, officials say face masks will still be required in schools, in health care settings, on public transit and in some businesses.
“The numbers are looking great. Better than they’ve been, I think, through the entirety of the pandemic,” the mayor said, pointing to the 135 cases-a-day in Chicago and to the city’s 2% test positivity rate. “We’ve done great work as a city.”
Businesses and communities can learn more about Phase 5 recommended public health practices by visiting IDPH’s website.