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Pritzker announces vaccine plan, Phase 4 sports guidance

Friday, Jan 22, 2021

* Press release…

Building on the state’s progress in administering the COVID-19 vaccine, Governor JB Pritzker announced the state will move into the early stages of Phase 1B of the COVID-19 Vaccine Administration Plan beginning on Monday, January 25. While federal vaccine shipments to states remain limited, the state is aggressively building out provider capacity to ensure efficient distribution as soon as more vaccine becomes 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 the state substantially completes Phase 1A, Illinois has surpassed its daily vaccination record multiple times, most recently vaccinating more than 44,000 people in a 24-hour period. The state has administered more than 60 percent of its vaccine allocation outside of Chicago and not including the federal Pharmacy Partnership Program, and substantially more once data lag in the reported administrations is accounted for.

“Illinois is building capacity so that as the vaccine supply increases, we will be ready,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “As the nation awaits greater supplies and we ramp up vaccination sites, every Illinoisan can do their part to fight this pandemic with the tools we know to work – masking and distancing – and over the last 8 weeks we’ve all used those tools and made real progress. Enormous sacrifices are being made to achieve this progress, but those sacrifices are making a real difference.”

“As more vaccine is allocated to Illinois, and more people are eligible to be vaccinated, we are starting to see the finish line coming into focus,” said 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.”

Over 3.2 million Illinoisans are eligible for Phase 1B. Eligible residents will be able to receive a vaccine at one of the Illinois National Guard (ILNG) assisted sites, at a site operated by a local health department, or at a partner pharmacy. Walgreens is now online in limited number of sites statewide. CVS and Jewel-Osco will be coming online early next week and additional pharmacies such as Hy-Vee, Mariano’s, and Kroger will be joining later next week. Taken together, these pharmacy partners will provide hundreds of sites in every region of the state.

At this time, these sites will be available by appointment only. As the federal supply of vaccines increases and Illinois receives more vaccines, the state will launch walk-in locations and expand sites to additional providers like doctor’s offices and urgent care clinics. More information about those locations will be released in the coming weeks.

In addition, over 18 state and federal agencies, including the ILNG, the Illinois State Police, and the Illinois Emergency Management Agency personnel who could be assisting in COVID-19 response will be vaccinated at McCormick Place in Chicago and the Illinois State Police Academy in Springfield. These sites are not open to the public at this time.

* Meanwhile…

Sports Guidance Under Phase 4

Working alongside the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) and the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), IDPH also announced sports guidance for all youth and adult recreational sports under Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois plan. Sports guidance under Phase 4 expands the level of play allowed for all sports to allow play at the intra-conference, region, or league levels.

While regions in the state continue to move toward Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois Plan, the risk of a resurgence, particularly with new variants such as the U.K. variant remains serious. The state urges all Illinois residents to continue following guidance aimed at reducing the spread of COVID-19, such as wearing a mask, reducing interactions outside the household, practicing social distancing, frequent hand washing, and receiving the COVID-19 vaccine when eligible.

IDPH will continue to closely monitor test positivity, ICU bed availability, and the number of people in the hospital with COVID-19. Should data show regions trending in the wrong direction, based on the established mitigation metrics, regions could once again find themselves in a higher tier with increased measures.

More on the sports guidance is here.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

11 Comments
  1. - OneMan - Friday, Jan 22, 21 @ 2:08 pm:

    I have checked, my ref stuff still fits even after 10 months of me being stuck in the basement.

    Assuming we play in March, I kind of hope we are not playing on Friday nights (brrrr)


  2. - lake county democrat - Friday, Jan 22, 21 @ 2:35 pm:

    One glaring omission in Illinois plan is people with developmental disabilities. They should at least be in group 1c, but as far as I can see they aren’t (some may have one of the qualfying conditions, but most won’t). People with MS, cerebral palsey, muscular dystrophy, etc. shouldn’t be in the same group as a healthy 25 year old.


  3. - Perplexed - Friday, Jan 22, 21 @ 2:44 pm:

    Governor’s press release: Nice platitudes. “We’re rolling.”

    Reality: Governor’s staffers should try, like untold thousands of us in 1A and 1B are futilely trying, to make future vaccination appointments online or by telephone. The administration has known for months that while the feds would oversee manufacture and distribution of vaccines, states would be responsible for fashioning the delivery system. Out here on the ground, though, you can email and call but nobody knows nothin’.

    Future implication: If the governor thought his IDES debacle would diminish his re-election chances, wait until a few million voters recognize that while vaccine availability is an understandable problem, failure during the last six months to prepare a delivery infrastructure — as Florida and other states have done so capably — betrays administration negligence to think ahead.


  4. - Cool Papa Bell - Friday, Jan 22, 21 @ 2:52 pm:

    One Man - I’m gonna go on a limb and say football won’t be rolling until April. Still chilly but the end of the season might be nice in mid-May.

    Pleased the IDPH adjusted and is trying to find safer ways to play. We can’t be one of two states to largely say no to sports and act like its the right choice and everyone else is wrong. This thing was bungled from the drop but I’m glad they are putting the pieces back together the best they can.

    44k vaccines given yesterday. It’s been a steady climb higher, we need to get 80k a day to make a big dent but we are headed in the right direction.


  5. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jan 22, 21 @ 2:55 pm:

    ===as Florida===

    Go take a nap. Sheesh, man.


  6. - OneMan - Friday, Jan 22, 21 @ 3:13 pm:

    CoolPapaBell — I’d be cool with that, but part of me thinks they will want to do it as soon as possible before things change.

    It would really stink if they get the green light then it goes red again.


  7. - JB13 - Friday, Jan 22, 21 @ 3:27 pm:

    – betrays administration negligence to think ahead –

    No they are always thinking ahead. It’s just usually been about ramping up more and more testing, and how to shut as much down as they can without obliterating the economy.

    I don’t think there’s any question they weren’t prepared for the arrival of the vaccine by this winter. The fluster and bluster is akin to a student trying to BS their way through a presentation they weren’t well prepared for.


  8. - JS Mill - Friday, Jan 22, 21 @ 3:28 pm:

    @Perplexed- You probably think Trump is still president if you believe any of what you have said.

    The disaster created by the Trump administration for the actual vaccinations is well documented. Only a few low population states are doing very well.


  9. - Cool Papa Bell - Friday, Jan 22, 21 @ 3:39 pm:

    @One - The only reason I think it’s going to be out a little later is that you now have a basketball and wrestling season to squeeze in here. So football might be moved back about 4 weeks…

    The glaring screwup was not playing baseball and softball and even track this past fall. The bat and ball sports needed to be played. It would have opened up a lot more of the calendar if they were already wrapped up.

    IL looks to be 13th in vaccinations per 100 people. NY, FL, MI, TX, GA all ahead of IL.

    IL in total vaccinations is 6th.

    IL is 18th in total share of population that has received one vaccine shot. 1. FL, 2. NY. 3 IN.

    Illinois has work to do to catch up to states that are doing it better.


  10. - 618er - Friday, Jan 22, 21 @ 3:48 pm:

    There has seemed to be a shortage of refs the last few years. I wonder how many of the few will want to work.. I wonder if the IHSA and IESA are taking that into consideration..


  11. - Jibba - Friday, Jan 22, 21 @ 4:33 pm:

    The biggest problem remains that we don’t have the vaccine to roll out. If we had 10 million doses, you’d see massive vaccination sites that could roll 24/7. When you only have a few hundred thousand doses and don’t know when you will get more, you get this.


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