May 14, 2021 – As local COVID-19 vaccination rates continue to climb and the number of cases trend downward, Oak Park joined the rest of Illinois in moving into the Bridge Phase of the Restore Illinois reopening plan today.
The Bridge Phase includes expanded capacity limits for businesses, dining, offices, events, conferences and gatherings.
Health officials say barring any significant reversals in key COVID-19 statewide indicators, including increasing hospitalizations, Illinois could enter Phase 5 with a full reopening as soon as June 11.
“Oak Park residents have worked so hard for more than a year to protect themselves, their families and the community from COVID-19, and moving to the Bridge Phase is a sign we’re even closer to normalcy,” said Dr. Theresa Chapple-McGruder, director of the Oak Park Department of Public Health. “In order to ensure this progress continues, we urge everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated as soon as possible.”
COVID-19 vaccines are widely available to anyone age 12 and older at mass vaccination sites, pharmacies and other locations statewide, including in Oak Park and surrounding Cook County. Doctors’ offices are also increasingly administering vaccine to their patients.
Visit www.oak-park.us/vaccine for information about ways to get vaccinated in and around Oak Park, including details about how to receive alerts when the Oak Park Department of Public Health hosts community vaccination clinics.
More than 23,800 Oak Park residents are fully vaccinated, and a majority of eligible residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine. Meanwhile, the 14-day average of new cases in Oak Park has remained steadily below five per day, down from double-digit averages that climbed as high as 25 cases per day during the fall and winter.
The CDC guidance for fully vaccinated people notes masks should continue to be worn where required by federal, state and local laws, rules and regulations. This includes the required use of masks on public transportation.
The Oak Park Public Health Department is reviewing local mask requirements and may make new recommendations next week. In the meantime, officials are urging any resident who is not yet vaccinated to do it now.
“We know the benefits of getting vaccinated,” Dr. Chapple-McGruder said. “COVID-19 vaccines protect you, protect others and are letting us begin to return to normal. Vaccination is safe, available and free, so we urge everyone to take advantage of this important tool to stay safe and end the pandemic.”
Click here to read the Village's Bridge Phase Mitigation Order.
For more information about Oak Park’s COVID-19 response, visit www.oak-park.us/covid19.