June 13, 2021

Six Flags Great America to offer 50,000 free tickets to newly vaccinated Illinois residents; state to enter ‘Bridge Phase’ on Friday

COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to fall as fully vaccinated rate hits 36.54%

Gov. JB Pritzker confirmed the state would enter the “Bridge Phase” – the final phase before a full reopening of the state’s businesses on Friday. Barring any setbacks in new COVID-19 cases or hospitalizations, the state will enter Phase 5 as early as June 11.

In addition, the governor’s office announced that Six Flags Great America will donate 50,000 free tickets to their parks in Gurnee and Rockford to newly vaccinated Illinois residents.

“Throughout the pandemic, Six Flags has been All In for Illinois, putting the health of workers and visitors first,” Pritzker said. “I know it’s been a difficult year - but that just makes it all the more exciting to be back at the park. Thanks to the life-saving power of vaccinations, it feels once again like summer’s in the air.”

A “significant portion” of tickets will be distributed through local health departments, according to the governor’s office. More information will be distributed on a county-by-county basis.

The state is sending Illinois National Guard mobile vaccination teams to their Gurnee location starting June 5-6. If turnout is high, vaccination teams will return.

The state will continue to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance on mask-wearing in Phase 5.

“Illinoisans have worked so hard over the past year and a half to keep their families and neighbors safe, and reaching Bridge Phase means that we’re closer than ever to a return to normalcy,” Pritzker said. “To keep up this progress, I urge every eligible Illinoisan – now including 12 to 15-year-olds – to get vaccinated as soon as possible.”

The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 1,918 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 and 35 additional deaths Thursday, and a total of 10,179,004 COVID-19 vaccines have been administered.

For Wednesday, the state administered 68,035 shots, and that does not include data from CVS pharmacies. “Due to a reporting issue, doses from CVS are not included in today’s count, but will be reflected in the numbers in the next couple days,” according to an IDPH news release.

The seven-day rolling average of Illinois’ positivity rate stayed flat at 2.7%. The state received the results of 88,682 COVID-19 tests in the 24 hours leading up to Thursday afternoon.

Illinois has seen 1,361,666 total cases of the virus, and 22,320 people have died. The state has conducted a total of 23,594,096 tests since the start of the pandemic.

As of late Wednesday, Illinois had 1,765 COVID-19 patients in the hospital. Of those, 465 were in intensive care units, and 236 were on ventilators.

Vaccine update: As of Thursday, IDPH reported a total of 12,604,745 doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been distributed statewide, with 10,179,004 vaccines administered.

As of the time this story was published, 4,656,004 of the population of Illinois have been fully vaccinated, or 36.54%. Illinois has a population of 12,741,080 people.

There can be as much as a 72-hour delay in reporting from health care providers on vaccines administered.

In northern Illinois, here is the percentage of the population fully vaccinated by county:

Chicago: 36.01%

Suburban Cook: 38.71%

Lake: 33.48%

McHenry: 33.44%

DuPage: 42.57%

Kane: 34.66%

Will: 34.38%

Kendall: 35.40%

La Salle: 30.51%

Grundy: 33.42%

DeKalb: 30.35%

Ogle: 33.06%

Lee: 32.74%

Whiteside: 30.72%

Bureau: 31.76%

Regional update: The state will transition from being in Phase 4 of the state’s reopening plan to the Bridge Phase on Friday.

Regional data from the IDPH remains on a three-day lag.

The North Suburban region (McHenry and Lake counties) has seen 110 consecutive days below 8% for its COVID-19 test positivity rate. The region’s positivity rate dropped to 3.0%. Currently, 26% of ICU beds are available.

The region has never dropped below the 20% threshold for ICU bed availability since tracking began.

Within this region, McHenry County’s seven-day positivity rate average increased to 6.1%. Lake County, which does about two-thirds of the testing in the region, is reporting a rolling average of 2.3%.

Hospitalizations have increased seven out of the past 10 days in this region.

The West Suburban region (DuPage and Kane counties) has seen 113 consecutive days below 8%. The region’s positivity rate decreased to 4.2%. Currently, 23% of ICU beds are available.

Within this region, Kane County’s seven-day positivity stayed flat at 5.4%, and DuPage County’s fell to 3.7%.

Hospitalizations decreased or remained stable 10 out of the past 10 days in this region.

The South Suburban region (Will and Kankakee counties) has seen 115 consecutive days below 8%. The region’s positivity rate decreased to 4.1%. Currently, 27% of ICU beds are available.

Hospitalizations have decreased or remained stable eight out of the past 10 days in this region.

The North region (Boone, Carroll, DeKalb, Jo Daviess, Lee, Ogle, Stephenson, Whiteside, and Winnebago counties) has maintained a positivity rate below 8% for 117 days. The region’s positivity rate increased to 4.3%.

Currently, 18% of ICU beds are available. Thursday is the 31st straight day this region is under 20% ICU capacity.

Within this region, DeKalb County’s positivity rate increased to 5.2%, Lee County’s rate increased to 1.1%, and Whiteside County’s stayed flat at 2.0%.

Hospitalizations decreased or remained stable eight out of the past 10 days in this region.

The North-Central region (Bureau, Fulton, Grundy, Henderson, Henry, Kendall, Knox, La Salle, Livingston, Marshall, McDonough, McLean, Mercer, Peoria, Putnam, Rock Island, Stark, Tazewell, Warren, and Woodford counties) has seen 120 days below 8%. The region’s positivity rate stayed flat at 4.3%.

Within this region, La Salle County’s seven-day positivity rate increased to 4.1%.

Currently, only 18% of ICU beds are available. Thursday is the 35th day with ICU capacity below 20%. Hospitalizations decreased or remained stable for nine out of the past 10 days.

Chicago has seen 113 consecutive days below 8%. The region’s positivity rate decreased to 3.8%.

Currently, 21% of ICU beds are available. Hospitalizations decreased or remained stable for seven out of the past 10 days.

Suburban Cook County has seen 113 days below 8%. The region’s positivity rate decreased to 3.8%.

Currently, 20% of ICU beds are available. Hospitalizations have decreased or remained stable eight out of the past 10 days in this region.

To see how other regions across the state are doing, see the full IDPH dashboard here.

Newly reported deaths include:

• Coles County: 1 male 60s

• Cook County: 1 male 20s, 1 female 60s, 2 males 60s, 2 females 70s, 4 males 70s, 2 females 80s

• DuPage County: 1 female 60s, 1 male 90s

• Henry County: 1 female 80s

• Kane County: 1 female 70s

• Knox County: 2 females 80s, 1 female 90s

• Lake County: 1 male 70s

• Macon County: 1 male 40s

• McLean County: 1 male 90s

• Peoria County: 1 female 60s, 1 male 60s, 1 female 70s, 1 male 70s

• Rock Island County: 1 male 80s

• Tazewell County: 1 male 50s, 1 male 70s, 1 female 80s, 1 male 80s

• Wayne County: 1 male 60s

• Will County: 1 female 70s

• Winnebago County: 1 male 70s

John Sahly

John Sahly is the digital editor for the Shaw Media Local News Network. He has been with Shaw Media since 2008, previously serving as the Northwest Herald's digital editor, and the Daily Chronicle sports editor and sports reporter.