U.S. Illinois fully reopens amid jitters

U.S. Illinois fully reopens amid jitters
# 12 June 2021 06:27 (UTC +04:00)

U.S. Midwest state of Illinois, including the country's third largest city of Chicago, fully reopened on Friday amid jitters, APA reports citing Xinhua.

By fully reopening, it means going outside without a mask or gathering in small groups with other vaccinated friends, increasing social interactions and dropping restrictions incrementally.

While some people are hailing a return to near-normalcy and planning various celebrations, some others express the concern that COVID-19 safety measures might be dropping too quickly, Chicago Tribune reported Friday.

Roughly 54 percent of adults in Illinois are fully vaccinated, according to state health statistics. The state is far off from reaching herd immunity of 80 percent, a threshold some health experts have estimated.

Chicago is averaging just 79 new coronavirus cases per day, compared with days when cases topped 3,000 in the city. The daily case number is down 41 percent since last week.

Allison Arwady, Chicago's public health commissioner, on Thursday cited the city's rapidly declining COVID-19 numbers as the reason to be confident about Friday's full reopening in the city and state.

But she also added that the city continues to recommend that anyone who is not vaccinated, including young children, wear a mask, particularly while indoors.

Chicago has beaten other U.S. large cities in fully reopening.