Shots up, virus cases down: Illinois easing rules Friday

CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois will hit a milestone Friday. That’s when the state lifts all capacity limits on bars, restaurants, businesses and other venues.

It comes nearly 15 months after the first stay-at-home order during the coronavirus pandemic. The Illinois health department says 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 health department says 209 people with COVID-19 were in intensive care units statewide, one of the lowest counts during the pandemic.

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.