Gov. J.B. Pritzker confirmed that all of Illinois will be moving to Phase 5 on Friday, which will allow 100% capacity for all businesses and events in the state.
The state will eliminate all capacity limits on businesses, large-scale events, conventions, amusement parks, and all other venues, Pritzker said in a statement on Thursday.
Masks requirements for non-vaccinated individuals will remain in place in alignment with CDC guidelines, Pritzker added.
The state is recording the lowest number of people in the hospital with COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic, the lowest test positivity rate and more than 68% of adult residents in Illinois who have received at least one dose of the vaccine.
“A strong economy requires that people not only feel safe, but truly be safe, as they go about their lives as workers, neighbors, consumers, and friends – and thanks to the lifesaving power of vaccinations, that day is finally here for Illinois,” Pritzker said.
“I invite all Illinoisans to feel the hope and joy of this moment while also recognizing that this pandemic is still very present for the world at large – not to mention those here at home who have not been or cannot be vaccinated. As we take this next step forward, let’s do so with a renewed commitment to empathy, to community, and to making each day together count. You did it, Illinois,” Pritzker said.
The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) reported on Thursday 366 new confirmed and probable cases, 764 people in the hospital with COVID-19, and a test positivity rate of 1.3%.
“These are some of the lowest COVID-19 statistics reported in Illinois to date. Additionally, IDPH is reporting 209 people with COVID-19 in the ICU and 103 people on ventilators. These are also some of the lowest counts we’ve seen since the pandemic began,” the governor’s office said.
11.9 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered to Illinois residents.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports more than 68% of residents age 18 and older in Illinois have received at least one dose of vaccine and 51% of adults are fully vaccinated.
More than 88% of Illinois seniors have received at least one dose of vaccine.
“It is a very exciting time as we reach the point where businesses can operate without capacity limits and we are seeing the return of large events we’ve enjoyed in the past,” IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said.
“However, it is important to remember that we are still in a world pandemic and not everyone has the protection of one of the safest and most effective vaccines ever. Currently, there is not a vaccine authorized for children younger than 12 years and some adults have chosen not to be vaccinated,” Ezike said.
“For these reasons, it is important for unvaccinated people to continue to wear masks while in public and to socially distance. The virus can continue to spread among unvaccinated individuals, which could lead to additional mutations and new, more virulent variants,” she said.
Fully vaccinated people in Illinois no longer have to wear a mask inside or outside except where required by federal or local rules such as public transportation and in health care settings.
Individuals in schools and daycares must continue to wear face coverings under guidance issued by the Illinois State Board of Education, Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, and the Illinois Department of Public Health.