* Gov. JB Pritzker just announced that the state will enter the “bridge phase” with less restrictive mitigations on May 14. That means, if all goes well, full reopening will take place 28 days later on June 11. The state has already met the vaccine targets, but the numbers to watch will be hospitalizations, ICU usage and deaths.
This post will be updated.
* From the presser…
Whenever we reach Phase Five, we will continue to follow CDC guidelines on masking to keep this pandemic at bay.
This good news comes with a caveat. We have all seen throughout this pandemic that this virus and its variants have proven to be unpredictable. Metrics that look strong today are far from a guarantee of how things will look a week, two weeks, a month from now. We saw that last August. And again, last March. But what we do know is that we have tools in our arsenal, like vaccinations, and wearing masks that if we all use them, have proven extremely effective.
Please excuse all transcription errors.
Folks, this pandemic is not over. But if we’re going to truly end it, we have to make sure that we don’t see another surge in the virus. And the best way to do that is for everyone to get vaccinated. […]
If you can, talk to someone in your life about why you got vaccinated, and then help them do the same. We’ll get through this the same way that we’ve been able to get through this from the very beginning, helping each other and working together.
* Dr. Ezike…
As the governor mentioned, smaller providers like your family doctor your pediatrician are now eligible to order COVID-19 vaccines directly from ICARE, our state immunization registry. So we’re encouraging providers who have not already enrolled ICARE to do so, and to help make the vaccine, as accessible as possible for every single Illinoisan. We know that when it comes to our health, the person that we tend to trust the most is our own personal physician. Any provider can go to the IDPH website and search for the ICARE access enrollment packet to sign up. The enrollment and approval process will take about one to two weeks, and then after that providers will be able to administer COVID-19 vaccines to their patients in their offices. We know that there are some logistical challenges with the vaccine, namely the ultra cold storage requirements, and the number of vials that are typically shipped to a provider, but we are working with that, we’re going to work with hospitals and healthcare organizations to identify ways in which smaller doctors offices can work with one another and share the doses so that even a provider who may only administer a dozen or two dozen doses a week can still have access to this valuable resource.
* Dr. Rodney Alford of Iroquois Memorial Hospital in Watseka…
As we are exiting the COVID-19 pandemic. We are now entering the pandemic of misinformation and incomplete information which may usher in a new COVID-22 pandemic.
By the end of this year, we will have four populations of people in my belief. One, those that get COVID-19 get sick or died. Two, those that get COVID-19 and later on get the vaccine. The third group of people are those that refuse the vaccine, but live in fear, or in denial, with or without a mask. And the fourth group of people are those that get the vaccine or have already had the vaccine, and have confidence and freedom from fear of the virus, and free of mask wearing.
I choose freedom. I choose health. I choose life.
I myself belong to that community that has vaccine hesitancy, I belong to the Black and Brown community. I belong to the conservative Christian community. I belong to the urban community. I now live in a rural community, but I am not hesitant to live without fear. I am truly free, defeating this pandemic of vaccine resistance, and hesitancy is a matter of education and trust. You might want to believe and trust the internet, or other media accounts, or media outlets, or you might want to trust me, your doctor.
…On to questions… The governor was asked if he wears a mask outdoors…
I do when I’m in a large group. I try to, you know, it’s, look, you know I don’t count heads when I walk into a place, but the fact is you know you can tell when people are very close to one another, not wearing masks or people are wearing masks, it’s appropriate to wear one in a crowded space. But I have been outside with people who are unmasked and masked but, you know, obviously being outdoors in a small group is safe.