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Saturday, May 18, 2024

Pritzker Refuses to Commit to Lifting Illinois COVID Restrictions

'We've altered the disaster declaration over time...'

Illinois‘s Democrat Gov. JB Pritkzer refused to commit to lifting the state’s coronavirus restrictions when asked this week when the state could move from Phase 4 to his proposed Bridge Phase.

The Bridge Phase would increase capacity limits at gyms, museums and spectator events, and it would allow businesses to operate at 60% capacity.

This phase would essentially serve as a transitional period between the current Phase 4 and a full reopening in Phase 5, according to Pritzker.

However, the Democratic governor refused to say when he would allow the state to move forward.

“It feels to me, it looks to me, if you look at all the hospital admissions data, like we’re in decent shape and moving exactly as I would hoped we would toward the Bridge Phase,” he said on Monday.

Pritzker has previously said Illinois will need to reach a 70% first-dose vaccination rate for residents 65 years and older, maintain a 20% ICU bed availability, and hold a steady or dropping rate of hospitalizations and positive cases over a 28-day period. 

Hospitalizations and positive cases continued to drop throughout the state, according to health officials, but because the vaccination rate has not increased, Pritzker said he does not want to reopen the state.

“You can see the numbers rise very quickly,” he said. “That is why we have been very careful not to move to the Bridge Phase while we watch that variant in Illinois.”

Pritzker also warned Illinois residents back in March that he doesn’t plan on lifting the state’s mask mandate any time soon.

“We’ve altered the disaster declaration over time. And as things get better, we’ve loosened up the mitigations that we’ve put on businesses and on people across the state,” he said at the time. “Masks, though—that will stay in place for some time now.”

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