How Can Illinois Get To The ‘Bridge’ Phase For The State’s Reopening? – CBS Chicago

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CHICAGO (CBS) — Right now, restaurants and bars are limited to just 50% capacity inside.

But there’s some promising news about the state’s reopening plan and when some of those restrictions may be eased.

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CBS 2’s Chris Tye reports DuPage County with a look at what will need to happen to get there.

The entire state remains in Phase 4 and has been in that category for months. It means almost everything is open, but continued capacity limits and spacing rules. Phase 5 would remove all of that.

And between those categories will be a “bridge” phase that will take a month, despite good trendlines.

After a weekend that felt more normal than most, will Illinois formally begin its final phase of COVID restrictions known as the “bridge phase” anytime soon?

“It feels to me, it looks to me that we are in decent shape and moving decent shape moving toward the bridge phase,” said Illinois Governor JB Pritzker.

Decent, but not perfect shape.

The latest trending of cases in Illinois can be described as stable, but trending downward. On Monday, the Illinois Department of Public Health reported 2,049 new COVID cases.

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Three of the big four metrics have been met:

*Over 70% of Illinois seniors have been vaccinated.
*Over 50% of Illinois 16 years and older have been vaccinated.
*Over 20% of the state’s ICU Beds are available.

Where Illinois is failing is the the requirement that cases of hospitalized COVID patients are not increasing. When will that happen?

“I believe that it may be next week,” said Governor Pritzker.

There are subjective criteria that could hold the state back. If variant cases were to spike, like the UK variant, that could keep Illinois from moving forward.

“And it takes hold fairly quickly. And you can see the numbers rise,” Pritzker said. “That’s why we’ve been very careful not to move to the bridge phase as we watch that variant in Illinois.

Pritzker said major events like the Illinois State Fair remain slated to get the green light, barring some major curveball. And the bridge to that summer of fun could be just days away.

A couple examples of what would happen when the bridge phase begins? Museums and amusement parks and convention centers could more than double their capacity.

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