...we can start having at least larger-sized gatherings like everything open up with some kind of capacity,” Ezike said. “We’re not getting rid of masks. We think masks have to be a mainstay.”
For a full Phase 5 reopening, she said that will depend on how much of the general population has been vaccinated while health officials monitor COVID-19-related deaths and hospitalizations.
As of March 15, nearly 12% of the state’s population had been fully vaccinated. More than 680,800 people 65 and older had been fully vaccinated, according to state data.
The state’s hospitality and leisure industry, which has reported major job losses over the last year, has been pressuring the governor to allow for larger gatherings for conventions as other states see more relaxed gathering limits.
Illinois logged the lowest number of COVID-19 positive cases in months March 15. The 24-hour report showed 782 “confirmed and probable” cases, the lowest since 707 cases were reported in one day on July 14, 2020. The state reported 12 COVID-19-related deaths in the latest daily report March 15.