Gov. JB Pritzker is working on unveiling later this week his plan to get the state to Phase 5 – a full reopening – while also trying to exceed President Joe Biden’s goal of having all Illinois adults eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine by May 1, according to media reports.
The Chicago Tribune reported that Pritzker is working on gradually moving the state from its current Phase 4 into Phase 5, which would be a return to all sectors of the economy opening, and large events being allowed.
“We’ve been having lots of conversations with industry and health experts,” Pritzker spokeswoman Jordan Abudayyeh told the Tribune, adding that further details will come later this week.
The Tribune also reported that Illinois Department of Public Health Director Ngozi Ezike told a state senate committee on Monday that the guidance to wear masks in public wouldn’t be going away anytime soon.
Meanwhile, Pritzker told NBC 5 Chicago that he was optimistic that Phase 1c of the state’s vaccine rollout could happen soon, but declined to give a date.
Illinois currently os in Phase 1b-plus of its vaccine rollout plan. Phase 1b includes: those age 65 and older, first responders, day care workers, corrections officers and inmates, food and agriculture workers, postal service workers, manufacturing workers, grocery store workers, public transit workers, educators and support staff, shelters and adult day care workers and those age 65 and younger with high-risk medical issues. Priority groups are designated by health departments in accordance with federal government protocols.
State and Chicago officials have both said meeting the May 1 target depends on the vaccine supply from the federal government. Phase 1c guidelines have not officially been released by the state.