What you need to know about Pritzker’s next set of COVID-19 rules

What you need to know about Pritzker’s next set of COVID-19 rules

Illinois is about to reach the extra COVID-19 reopening phase Gov. J.B. Pritzker added in March. Here are the rules of the ‘Bridge’ phase expected to begin May 14 and last until June 11.

Illinois and Chicago will loosen coronavirus restrictions starting May 14 ahead of a full statewide reopening predicted on June 11, Gov. J.B. Pritzker said recently.

While Pritzker assured Illinoisans, “the light that we can see at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter,” he warned a resurgence in COVID-19 cases could dim it. Illinois was at a 2.8% seven-day positive test rate May 10.

Reaching the bridge phase means 70% of Illinois residents 65 and older are vaccinated in addition to maintaining 20% ICU bed availability and holding COVID-19 mortality rates, hospitalizations and cases steady for a 28-day period. State leaders announced 60% of all adults and 85% of residents 65 and older have been vaccinated.

While Illinois met the vaccination rate threshold back in April, a spring spike in the state’s hospitalization and case rates halted an earlier transition to the bridge phase. Pritzker said if state coronavirus metrics continue to trend downward after entering the bridge phase, Illinois is eyeing a full reopening June 11. Pritzker said the mask mandate will remain in place even after “full reopening.”

Here’s what you need to know about the “Bridge” phase:

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