Building on the state's progress in administering the COVID-19 vaccine, Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker announced the state will move into the early stages of Phase 1B of the COVID-19 Vaccine Administration Plan beginning Monday, Jan. 25.
A press release stated, "While federal vaccine shipments to states remain limited, the state is aggressively building out provider capacity to ensure efficient distribution as soon as more vaccines become available. Illinois remains committed to distributing the vaccine in an equitable, accessible way and as a part of Phase 1B, all residents over the age of 65 and frontline essential workers can receive the vaccine. Illinois will begin vaccinating eligible residents by appointment only."
"As more [vaccines are] allocated to Illinois, and more people are eligible to be vaccinated, we are starting to see the finish line coming into focus," said Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike. "I am cautiously optimistic with the trends we are seeing in Illinois, but I want to stress how important it is for us to continue our public health actions of wearing masks and avoiding large gatherings. Getting to the end of this pandemic will be about the choices we make. The choice to wear our mask, the choice to keep our distance, and the choice to get vaccinated."
Also, working with the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and the Illinois State Board of Education, IDPH announced sports guidance for all youth and adult recreational sports under Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois plan. Sports guidance under Phase 4 allows play at the intra-conference, region or league levels.
Should data show regions trending in the wrong direction, regions could once again find themselves in a higher tier with increased measures.