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Governor Announces “Bridge Phase” For Reopening Illinois, Great America Targets April 24

Governor Lays Out New “Bridge Phase,” Refuses Date on Full Re-Opening Date
Vander Tuuk 3-19-21

(Chicago, IL) Illinois Governor JB Pritzker is again revising his plans when it comes to fully opening the state’s economy. The Governor announced Thursday, what he called a “bridge phase” between the state’s current Phase 4, and the fully open Phase 5. The announcement comes with a phased in approach to allowing more people to attend events and businesses. To reach that phase, a total of 70% of seniors age 65 and older must have received one first dose of the vaccine…there are also trends involving cases, deaths, ICU beds and Covid-linked hospitalizations. The Governor said he will not lift any mask mandates until the CDC gives the go ahead. Pritzker refused to target any dates for a full re-opening, saying the Covid situation remains fluid.

Coronavirus Illinois, Lake County
Vander Tuuk 3-19-21

(Waukegan, IL) Illinois saw one of it’s highest Coronavirus testing days of the month, and in turn, one of the highest cases totals of March. Illinois Department of Public Health numbers show Lake County had 104 of the state’s 2,325 new cases, with one new fatality. Even with the higher case total, Covid-related hospitalizations statewide declined, and remain near record lows. In the Region that includes Lake and McHenry County, hospital admissions fell, and have declined or stayed flat on all but one day over the last two months. ICU’s in the region stand at 66% capacity, and test positivity is 3.1%.

Vaccine Update
Vander Tuuk 3-19-21

(Chicago, IL) Over 4.3-million doses of the Coronavirus vaccine have been administered to Illinois residents. Over 99-thousand doses were doled out in the Thursday update, a decrease from the day before. Those considered fully vaccinated statewide now number over 1.6-million, or just under 13% of the state population. In Lake County, just over 74-thousand residents are considered fully vaccinated, or around 11%.

100,000 Bail for Woman With History of Airline Stowaways
Associated Press/Vander Tuuk 3-19-21

CHICAGO (AP) A former Lake County woman with a history of stowing away on airliners is back in jail after she allegedly violated court orders and took a train to O’Hare Airport. A judge on Thursday ordered Marilyn Hartman held in lieu of $100,000 bail on a charge of escaping from electronic monitoring. But because her arrest violated previous court orders she will be held without bail at least until Monday, when she can next appear in court. During Thursday’s hearing, the 69-year-old’s attorney said Hartman has a mental illness and only went to the airport after she became upset by a recent television news story about her.

Great America Sets Re-Opening Date
Vander Tuuk 3-19-21

(Gurnee, IL) Six Flags Great America has set an official date for re-opening. The Gurnee theme park says their doors will open April 24th at 25% capacity. Officials say an online reservation system set up last year for the Water Park, and holiday lights festivals, will be used again to make sure those capacity limits are in place. Temperature screeners will be in place as you enter the park and masks will be required…but rides will be operational, after being shut down all of last year. Other plans are also in place to make sure Six Flags remains as clean and sanitary as possible.

Illinois Residents Must Travel to Bet on Illini, Loyola
Associated Press 3-19-21

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) An Illinois sports gambling law is making it difficult, but not impossible, for state residents to bet on the University of Illinois or Chicago’s Loyola University when March Madness kicks off today. The law that legalized betting on Division 1 College sports prohibits betting on any Illinois team that’s playing. But when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Illinois waived the in-person requirement to register with sportsbooks. Because online sportsbooks look at where the bet is placed and not where the bettor lives, all the bettor has to do is leave the state to place a bet.

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