Here’s what’s happening on Thursday – –

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Here’s what’s happening on Thursday – –


Illinois and Chicago are set to reopen fully on Friday, marking an emotional turning point in the pandemic for many who have suffered loss and a lack of connection in public life.

Among Friday’s highlights: The Cubs’ home game against the St. Louis Cardinals at Wrigley Field will mark the first time a Chicago baseball game has been played in front of a large crowd since the start of the pandemic. The White Sox plan to open at full capacity on June 25.

Meanwhile, Illinois public health officials on Thursday reported 366 new and probable cases of COVID-19 and 18 more deaths. The statewide seven-day positivity rate is 1.0%.

There were 62,268 doses of the vaccine given on Wednesday, and the seven-day moving average of daily doses is 49,572. Officials said 68% of adults in Illinois received at least one dose of the vaccine and 51% of adults are fully vaccinated.

Here’s what’s happening with COVID-19 in the Chicago area on Thursday:

4:45 p.m .: Elevators. Fitting rooms. Salad bars. Where are COVID-19 restrictions lifted and what is still banned as Illinois enters phase 5?

Illinois is expected to enter phase five of its reopening on Friday, lifting all pandemic capacity restrictions on businesses for the first time in about 18 months.

But not all health and safety measures related to COVID-19 are going away. Businesses are still encouraged to allow social distancing and may require additional precautions.

2:00 p.m .: Reopening day: Illinois on Friday will take biggest step forward to return to normal after more than a year of COVID-19 restrictions

On a Saturday in late March last year, employees walked out of public libraries with plants and boxes of personal items, parents and young children took one last chance to run in the playgrounds , and the streets began to empty.

Chicagoans were preparing for the state’s stay-at-home order, which officially went into effect at 5 p.m. on March 21, 2020.

More than a year later, Illinois and Chicago are set to reopen fully on Friday, marking an emotional turning point in the pandemic for many who have suffered loss and a lack of connection in public life.

Among Friday’s highlights: The Cubs’ home game against the St. Louis Cardinals at Wrigley Field will mark the first time a Chicago baseball game has been played in front of a large crowd since the start of the pandemic. The White Sox plan to open at full capacity on June 25.

While the city and state have gone through various phases of downsizing and restoring activity since the initial stay-at-home order, Friday’s reopening will also be the first time there are no restrictions. capacity or social distancing mandates for business and personal gatherings.

“I have reunited with my family and have to say it is a wonderful feeling to be connected to people again,” said Dr Susan Bleasdale, infectious disease physician at the hospital and science system. of Health at the University of Illinois. “I think it’s exciting as long as we’re careful and cautious and continue to follow the data. “

12:15 p.m .: 62,268 vaccine doses administered, 366 new cases and 18 deaths reported

Illinois public health officials on Thursday reported 366 probable new cases of COVID-19 and 18 additional deaths. This brings the state’s total to 1,386,628 cases and 23,014 deaths.

There have been 42,403 tests reported in the previous 24 hours and the statewide seven-day positivity rate is 1.0%.

There were 62,268 doses of vaccine given on Wednesday and the seven-day moving average of daily doses is 49,572. Officials said 68% of adults in Illinois received at least one dose of the vaccine and 51% of adults are fully vaccinated.

11 a.m .: 5 Chicago museums will be open late Friday to celebrate the city’s reopening

Some Chicago museums help celebrate Chicago’s reopening Friday with late hours, staying open until 9 p.m. or 10 p.m.

In a celebration announced by Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s office, five Chicago museums will participate to mark the opening of the Chicago Open on June 11, when the city follows Illinois State to enter the phase. five of the pandemic recovery, or full reopening.

“One of the best ways to celebrate the reopening of our city is to spend time in our renowned museums, which have endured so many challenges over the past year,” Mayor Lightfoot said in the announcement. “That’s why I’m delighted that so many of our most iconic museums are opening their doors until late this Friday evening to give residents and visitors a head start to regain a sense of normalcy.”

10:15 am: the offices reopen, but business does not bounce back at the dry cleaners: “It’s a kind of dying service”

As Chicago seeks to put the COVID-19 pandemic behind it, residents are quickly returning to businesses they previously frequented. But for many, the city’s dry cleaners are no longer part of the weekly routine.

The pandemic has curtailed the use of work and formal clothing, leaving the dry cleaning industry well below 2019 levels and raising concerns among cleaners that COVID-19 has permanently altered the viability of their industry, which has struggled since no-iron shirts became popular. It’s a drop that hits the Korean-American business community, which owns the majority of the state’s dry cleaners, particularly hard.

Shin Kim, director of Chicago Cleaners in the Noble Square neighborhood, said that while more and more customers are starting to come up with clothes for special events – suits, dresses, tuxedos – the overall volume of clothing he cleans is down thanks to a lack of everyday items like dress pants and dress shirts.

Before the pandemic, Kim said the average monthly income at Chicago Cleaners was between $ 8,000 and $ 10,000. Now it’s closer to $ 4,000.

“Due to the pandemic it’s kind of a dying service or business you could say,” Kim said.

A rendering of an observatory planned atop the city’s third tallest building, the Aon Center. (601W / TNS companies)

8:17 am: Aon Center’s $ 185 million observatory delayed again

There is a second delay in the plan to add a $ 185 million observation deck and thrill ride to the top of the Aon Center.

The owner of the office tower, 601W Cos., Had originally planned to start building the tourist attraction overlooking Millennium Park in the fall of 2020. The latest delay means the observatory won’t start until next year, has said Aon Center CEO Matt Amato.

“Due to COVID, we had to slow down the observatory,” Amato said. “We did not unplug the project. “

Now, as that deadline approaches, Amato said the New York-based partners shouldn’t start work on the project until 2022. That means it won’t open until 2024, he said.

“Our goal right now is to get tenants back into the building and complete the $ 6.5 million spot renovation,” said Amato, of Jones Lang LaSalle.

The building is gradually going from a pandemic minimum of 300 workers per day in the office tower to the pre-pandemic standard of 8,000 workers in the coming months, Amato said.

6 a.m.: We asked readers what they plan to do when the state reopens. Here is what they told us.

After months of restrictions, the time has come. If new coronavirus-related deaths, cases and hospitalizations remain low and vaccinations continue to rise, Illinois will reopen fully on Friday without COVID-19 restrictions.

That’s a lot of ifs, but Chicagoland residents are already making plans, counting on lifting remaining capacity limits, social distancing requirements and medical screening warrants. Illinois will be fully open for the first time since Governor JB Pritzker’s stay-at-home order went into effect on March 21, 2020.

The Chicago Tribune asked readers to share their plans for reopening the state.

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