SPRINGFIELD — Following weeks of steady decreases in new positive COVID-19 cases and with over 67% of residents age 18 and older receiving their first vaccine dose, Gov. JB Pritzker is releasing guidelines for Phase 5 of the Restore Illinois plan, which will go into effect on Friday, June 11, and marks a full reopening of all businesses and activities.
The guidance means 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 in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
“After a tremendously challenging year, Illinois has now reached a defining moment in our efforts to defeat COVID-19,” Pritzker said. “Thanks to the hard work of residents across the state, Illinois will soon resume life as we knew it before — returning to events, gatherings and a fully reopened economy, with some of the safety guidelines we’ve adopted still in place. As we fully reopen, this administration remains laser focused on ensuring a strong recovery for our small businesses and communities. Our FY22 budget invests $1.5 billion in small business relief, tourism, job-creating capital projects and more and we look forward to getting these dollars to communities across our state as quickly as possible.”
Upon entering Phase 5, fully-vaccinated people can resume activities without wearing a mask — except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.
The state will continue to recommend masking for unvaccinated persons, and require it for all people while traveling on public transportation, in congregate settings, in health care settings, as well as in schools, day cares and educational institutions pursuant to the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and CDC guidance. Businesses and local municipalities can put in place additional mitigations as they deem appropriate.
Under Phase 5, all sectors of the economy can resume at regular capacity. Phase 5 also marks the return of traditional conventions, festivals and large events without capacity restrictions. Large gatherings of all sizes can resume across all industry settings, and Phase 5 removes requirements that businesses institute mandatory social distancing in seated venues as well as daily health screenings of employees and visitors. Businesses and venues should continue to allow for social distancing to the extent possible, especially indoors. Businesses and venues may also continue to put in place additional public health mitigations as they deem appropriate, including requiring face coverings.
Region records first COVID-related death in weeks
For the first time in 36 days, the Southern Seven Health Department region has recorded another death related to COVID-19.
The death of the 80-year-old female from Johnson County occurred June 2.
It is the 103rd death attributed to the virus in the seven-county region — Alexander, Hardin, Johnson, Massac, Pope, Pulaski and Union — since May 2020.
Massac County’s death toll to the disease remains at 35.
A quarter of Massac Countians have received the full COVID-19 vaccine, according to numbers from Massac County Emergency Management.
As of Tuesday, 7381 have received the vaccine since it became available in December 2020. Of that number, 3576 have been fully vaccinated — meaning 25.40% of the county’s population has been fully vaccinated.
One new case of COVID — one in their 40s — was reported in Massac County from June 2-8 by Southern Seven.
As of Tuesday, Massac County has reached 1356 total cases since the pandemic began. Of that number, 1319 have recovered. As of Tuesday, there were two active cases.
In the past week, there have been 17 new cases with 34 recovered in the Southern Seven counties. There have been 6949 cumulative cases in the region since the pandemic began.
On Tuesday, according to the Illinois Department of Heath, there were 365 new individuals with COVID-19 identified in the state, bringing the confirmed total to 1,385,854 individuals with 22,974 deaths.