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Shots up, virus cases down: Illinois easing rules today
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Shots up, virus cases down: Illinois easing rules today

Virus Outbreak No Masks Illinois

People enjoy their time in an outside sitting area of a restaurant in Chicago's Navy Pier on May 14. Illinois hit a milestone today when the state lifted all capacity limits on bars, restaurants, businesses and other venues, nearly 15 months after the first stay-at-home order during the coronavirus pandemic.

CHICAGO — Illinois hit a milestone today when the state lifted all capacity limits on bars, restaurants, businesses and other venues, nearly 15 months after the first stay-at-home order during the coronavirus pandemic.

"As we take this next step forward, let’s do so with a renewed commitment to empathy, to community, and to making each day together count," Gov. J.B. Pritzker said. "You did it, Illinois.”

More than 68% of Illinois residents who are 18 or older have received at least one dose of vaccine, and 51% of adults are fully vaccinated, the state health department said, citing federal data.

The health department said 209 people with COVID-19 were in intensive care units statewide Thursday and 103 were on ventilators — “some of the lowest counts we’ve seen since the pandemic began.”

There have been at least 23,014 deaths in Illinois from COVID-19.

Businesses still can have their own rules for capacity, masks and social distancing. Masks are still required on public transportation and in airports, schools and hospitals.

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