Phase 5

Masks still required in schools—even for the vaccinated
By: 
STAFF REPORT

After 15 months of pandemic restrictions, Illinois will reopen starting Friday.
Phase 5 of the Restore Illinois plan will begin June 11, essentially lifting all COVID-19 capacity restrictions meaning businesses, large scale events, conventions and seated spectator venues can return to full capacity.
“After a tremendously challenging year, Illinois has now reached a defining moment in our efforts to defeat COVID-19. Thanks to the hard work of residents across the state, Illinois will soon resume life as we knew it before—returning to events, gatherings, and a fully reopened economy, with some of the safety guidelines we’ve adopted still in place,” Gov. J.B. Pritzker said in a news release.
The new guidance will follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC] recommendation that face coverings are not needed indoors for vaccinated individuals.
Masks and social distancing are still recommended for unvaccinated individuals in indoor settings and crowded outdoor settings, and the immuno-compromised in settings where others may not be vaccinated.
Face coverings are required to be worn [even for the fully vaccinated] in school buildings, day care centers and educational institutions. Masks are also required for people traveling on public transportation, and in congregate and health care settings.
Businesses are allowed to have stricter masking and social distancing policies than the state.
“This pandemic has robbed us of many of our freedoms such as going to ball games and concerts, celebrating graduations, weddings, and birthdays, going to dinner with friends, and even sharing a hug with loved ones we don’t live with. The vaccine is giving us our freedoms back and allowing us to move to Phase 5,” Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said.
Over 19,000 or 37.32% of Grundy County residents are fully vaccinated.
The Grundy County Health Department continues to offer COVID-19 vaccines through mass vaccination and walk-in mobile clinics.
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be administered to those age 18 and older on Saturday, June 12 from 8 a.m. to noon during the 3 French Hens Market located at Jennifer’s Garden, 333 Gore Rd., Morris.
Dose 2 of the Moderna vaccine will be given at the Grundy County Administration Center, 1320 Union St., Morris. Individuals are asked to make an online appointment, and walk-ins will be welcome from 8-9:30 a.m. Individuals be 18 years of age or older.
Dose 2 of the Pfizer vaccine will also be given Saturday at the county administration center. Appointments should be made but walk-ins will be welcome from 10 a.m. to noon. The Pfizer vaccine is available to anyone 12 years or older. Those under the age of 14 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian, those age 14-17 must be accompanied by another adult with a completed minor consent form.
Since the first case of coronavirus was reported in Grundy County in March 2020 the state has recorded 5,972 cases with 76 deaths reported from complications of the virus.
According to IDPH data, there have been 1,123 cases in the 60416 zip code based on 11,743 tests performed and 2,421 cases in the 60450 zip code based on 29,275 tests.
As of Monday, the Region’s test positivity rate was at 1.3% with the county recorded at 1.8%.
Jerry Nowicki of Capitol News Illinois contributed to this report