* Marni Pyke…
Illinois could ease more COVID-19 restrictions as soon as next week, Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Monday if health metrics continue in a positive direction.
That would mean the state shifts to a “Bridge Phase,” that increases capacity at festivals, social events, concert and other activities.
“It looks to me like we’re on a decent trajectory. I can’t say exactly what day that is,” Pritkzer said. “It looks to me, if you look at all the hospitalization admissions data, we’re in decent shape and moving exactly as I would hope toward the Bridge Phase.”
After a decline in COVID-19 infections in February through mid-March, cases and hospitalizations started to climb bringing fears of a significant surge although metrics have been inching back down.
* Peter Hancock…
The Illinois economy shrank by 4% in 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic wreaked havoc on many of its sectors, although there were signs of a recovery taking place late in the year.
Those preliminary numbers, released last week by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Economic Analysis, showed that the leisure, hospitality and food service sector was the hardest hit by the pandemic, reporting a nearly 30% drop in economic output for the year. […]
According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, real gross domestic product decreased in all 50 states and the District of Columbia in 2020. Utah, with a 0.1% shrinkage rate, fared the best, while Hawaii’s state economy shrank 8%. The average shrinkage rate for the U.S. as a whole was 3.5%. […]
When the numbers are broken out on a quarterly basis, however, the biggest drop in economic output occurred during the 2nd quarter, April-June, when Illinois was under the most severe economic restrictions. The economy began to pick up in the 3rd quarter, and by the 4th quarter was growing at an annualized rate of 3.5%.