* More background from this committee hearing is here if you need it. Capitol News Illinois…
Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza said she is hopeful outdoor events can return as early as this summer with large indoor events such as conventions and trade shows beginning in the fall.
Speaking during a Senate Tourism and Hospitality Committee hearing, Mendoza said that the return to holding events would be gradual and based on a number of factors, including COVID-19 transmission and vaccination rates. […]
Some business leaders told the committee that they have been set back by the state’s current cap of 50 people for event gatherings under Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois guidelines. Phase 5 of the reopening plan would allow for a return of large-scale events with the necessary safety precautions, pending the widespread availability of a COVID-19 vaccine or treatment.
As a result of the federal government moving up projections that a vaccine could be available to the entire population by the end of May, business leaders asked the committee for a “ramp” approach to reopening under Phase 5 to allow events to resume in some capacity as soon as possible.
* Center Square…
State Sen. Suzy Glowiack Hilton, D-Western Springs, said the difference of Phase 4 with a cap of 50 people and Phase 5 with no restrictions is too great.
“It’s all or small and we need an in-between piece to kind of ramp us up and plan and give us some predictability for the folks who really need it because we’ve got to get our people back to work,” Glowiack Hilston said. […]
State Sen. Sara Feigenholtz, D-Chicago, said meetings expected in about 10 days aren’t going to cut it compared to other states.
“That is the same week that Connecticut, Nevada and New York are actually already going to be implementing their 100-150 capacity, but we’re still in these internal conversations,” Feigenholtz said.
150 people ain’t gonna help the convention industry much.
And while Texas is fully reopening soon and abandoning its mask mandate, it has a 10 percent positivity rate, which is five times higher than Illinois’ rate. Texas’ daily new case rate is 25 per 100,000. Illinois’ rate is 14.2. But no prominent Democrat in this state is arguing for such a drastic move.