SPRINGFIELD, Ill. —Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Public Health confirmed Thursday the entire state will move into the Bridge Phase of the Restore Illinois reopening plan Friday, May 14.
The Bridge Phase is the final step before the full reopening of Phase 5.
Under Bridge Phase, there are expanded capacity limits for businesses, dining, offices, events, conferences and gatherings. Barring any significant reversals in key COVID-19 statewide indicators, including increasing hospitalizations, Illinois could enter Phase 5 as soon as June 11.
“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,” said Pritzker. “To keep up this progress, I urge every eligible Illinoisan – now including 12 to 15-year-olds – to get vaccinated as soon as possible.”
More than 10.3 million vaccine doses have been administered to Illinoisans at mass vaccination sites, local health departments, pharmacies, federally qualified health centers, mobile clinics, and other locations across the state.
Beginning Thursday, the Pfizer vaccine is available to youth ages 12 through 17 years after the CDC on Wednesday accepted the recommendation from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices to expand the use of the vaccine. The Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are authorized for those 18 years of age and older.
“The more people who are vaccinated, now including our youth as young as 12-years-old, the quicker we can end this pandemic,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike.
IDPH will continue to monitor the number of ICU hospital beds that are available, the number of patients who are hospitalized with COVID-19, and the number of people being newly admitted to the hospital because of COVID-19-like-illness.