Westmont, Illinois -- Date Issued: May 10, 2021
Governor J.B. Pritzker recently announced that Illinois will begin the Bridge Phase of the Restore Illinois Reopening Plan on May 14 and that the vaccine program will be expanding. State managed COVID-19 vaccination sites are now accepting walk-ins as the Illinois National Guard has now administered more than 1.5 million vaccinations.
As Illinois continues to outpace national vaccination rates and COVID-19 trends across the state stabilize following recent upticks, Governor Pritzker announced the entire state will move into the Bridge Phase of the Restore Illinois reopening plan beginning Friday, May 14. The Bridge Phase will allow for expanded capacity limits for businesses and gatherings before the state moves to a full reopening in Phase 5. Barring any significant reversals in key COVID-19 statewide indicators, Illinois could enter Phase 5 as soon as Friday, June 11.
Various attendance capacity limits set forth in the Bridge Phase can be found on the State of Illinois Coronavirus Response website.
The Governor and Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike also announced an expansion of the COVID-19 vaccine administration plan to include private doctors’ offices and small medical providers, which can now begin to order and administer COVID-19 vaccine directly to patients. Interested providers can register with the Illinois Comprehensive Automated Immunization Registry Exchange (I-CARE). Thus far, 60% of adult residents have received their first dose, including 85% of residents ages 65 and older. To further expand vaccine accessibility, state-run vaccination sites will now accept walk-ins in addition to pre-booked appointments.
Over 9.7 million vaccine doses have been administered to Illinois residents in every corner of the state, with millions of those shots taking place at mass vaccination sites, pharmacies, federally qualified health centers, community outreach initiatives, and mobile clinics. With vaccine scarcity no longer the primary barrier to vaccinations, the administration is shifting its program to meet people where they are as much as possible. This effort includes partnering with community organizations to host sites at a location of their choosing, rural and rapid response mobile vaccination teams, and expanding to doctors’ offices and accepting walk-ins at state-supported sites.
As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) approves certain vaccines for younger Illinois residents, including young people ages 12-15, the administration is encouraging pediatric offices to also register with I-CARE. Providers interested in registering with the application should go to the IDPH website and view the enrollment packet: https://bit.ly/3us02E2.
IDPH is coordinating vaccination clinics with religious groups, community organizations, mutual aid programs, neighborhood associations, and other organizations. To host a clinic in your community, sign-up at www.dph.illinois.gov/covid19/vaccinationclinics.
To learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine and find information on other vaccine locations, visit the State of Illinois Coronavirus Response website.