Updates made to mask requirements

Last week, the entire State of Illinois moved into the Bridge Phase of the reopening plan and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that they would be changing mask requirements.

On Friday, May 14, Illinois entered the Bridge Phase, which 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 Friday, 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 Governor JB 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.”

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) on May 12 announced vaccination locations across the state were prepared to administer the Pfizer vaccine to youth ages 12 through 15 years after the Advisory Committee on Immunizations Practices (ACIP) voted that day to recommend its use. The announcement came following the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) recent expansion of the emergency use authorization for the Pfizer vaccine in those youths.

For more COVID updates, please see this week’s print edition.