CHICAGO — All of Illinois, including Chicago, is still on pace to reopen Friday as coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and deaths have fallen in recent weeks.
Gov. JB Pritzker said last week Illinois is on track to move into Phase 5 — a relative return to normalcy — on June 11 as daily coronavirus cases and other metrics have plunged. On Thursday, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Chicago will follow suit.
“When we looked at our data, every one of the indicators that we’re tracking is honestly doing better than we expected it to be doing at this point. They are all in that lower-risk phase,” Dr. Allison Arwady, head of the Chicago Department of Public Health, said Friday. “This is the time to open, when you’re on a significant decline like this. I can’t predict fully what we’ll see in the fall or the winter.
“… We felt that we shouldn’t wait. We’re ready to go now. … . We can reopen and, please, get folks vaccinated.”
During Phase 5, capacity restrictions will be lifted at all businesses and life will return to a new “normal.” All people will still need to wear masks in certain settings, including schools, health care facilities and on public transit, but fully vaccinated people won’t need masks in most settings.
Unvaccinated people should still wear masks in most public settings, officials have said.
It’s possible there will be another surge of cases in the fall and winter, which could mean restrictions are brought back, Arwady and Lightfoot said Thursday. But for now, the numbers look good, Arwady said.
“A note of caution: COVID’s still here, still with us,” Lightfoot said Thursday.
People getting vaccinated is still the best bet for ending the pandemic, reopening businesses and having the world return to normal, officials have said. More people getting vaccinated also means there are fewer chances for variants of COVID-19 to develop and spread, which would endanger people and pose a threat to reopening efforts.
Everyone 12 and older is eligible to get vaccinated in Chicago and throughout Illinois. The vaccinations are free and do not require insurance.
Anyone can call the city’s coronavirus hotline at 312-746-4835 to get more information on how and where to get vaccinated in their community.
In Illinois, about 5.4 million people of all ages — or 42.48 percent of the state’s 12.7 million people — have gotten all their COVID-19 vaccination shots, according to state data.
Across the state, 37,455 vaccine doses are being administered per day, based on a seven-day rolling average. Illinois and Chicago have administered at least 11,531,838 vaccine doses of the 13,900,965 provided to them.
City data shows more than 1.1 million Chicagoans — or 42.8 percent of all residents — have gotten fully vaccinated. About 52.8 percent of all Chicagoans have gotten at least one shot. Among Chicagoans 65 and older, 71 percent have gotten at least one dose, while 62.2 percent have finished their vaccination.
Another 69 Illinoisans were reported dead from coronavirus since Friday.
The most recent coronavirus victims included 27 people from Cook County, including four men in their 40s and six people in their 60s.
At least 22,949 people have died from COVID-19 in Illinois, and another 2,403 deaths are probably related to the virus, according to the state.
The state reported 880 cases since Friday. That brings the total number of confirmed cases in Illinois up to 1,385,245.
Illinois’ seven-day positivity rate fell to 1.2 percent Sunday with 38,386 tests reported. It was at 1.3 percent Friday. The figure represents the percentage of people testing positive among recent tests.
Illinois’ seven-day test positivity rate, which measures the percentage of tests that were positive, fell to 1.4 percent Sunday. It was at 1.6 percent Friday.
As of Saturday night, 792 people were hospitalized with coronavirus in Illinois, including 212 people in the ICU and 117 people using ventilators.
In Chicago, 16 deaths and 173 confirmed cases were reported since Friday. There have been at least 5,387 deaths from COVID-19 in Chicago and 284,824 confirmed cases, according to state data.
The city is seeing an average of four deaths per day, down from five per day the week prior.
An average of 106 confirmed cases are being reported per day, a 44 percent decrease from the previous week. At the same time, testing has fallen 21 percent since a week ago.
The city’s seven-day positivity rate is at 1.8 percent, down from 2.4 percent the week before.
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