Dear Friend,

With federal supplies of the vaccine increasing steadily and the rollout well underway in Illinois, I am proud to say we are on the road to recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Back to the New Normal

Last week, Gov. JB Pritzker announced a phased approach that Illinois will use to advance to Phase 5—the final phase—of the state’s Restore Illinois Plan, in which all businesses and recreation can fully reopen and large events like festivals and conventions can take place. Masks will likely still be required for some time, however.

Like prior stages of the Restore Illinois Plan, this new plan—the “Bridge to Phase 5”—will depend on COVID-19 hospitalization, death and vaccination rates. However, rather than a regionalized approach, Illinois will move forward to Phase 5 as one unified state.

How We Move Forward

If our positivity and hospitalization rates remain steady,

  • When 70% of Illinois residents age 65 and older have been vaccinated, our state will begin the Bridge to Phase 5, in which capacity limits on restaurants, gyms, movie theaters and other establishments will be loosened.
  • When 50% of Illinois residents 16 and older have been vaccinated, we will move into Phase 5, eliminating all restrictions and capacity limits.

The Bridge to Phase 5 plan also includes updated capacity limits based on risk level, with new guidelines for fully vaccinated Illinoisans. The full plan is detailed here.


Vaccines for All Starting April 12

Vaccine eligibility will be expanded in the coming weeks to include higher-risk groups who do not qualify in Phase 1A or 1B, building up to universal eligibility.

Eligibility will be expanded as follows:

  • March 22: Higher education staff, government workers and media
  • March 29: Food and beverage workers, construction trade workers and religious leaders

Starting April 12, all Illinoisans over age 16 are expected to be eligible to receive the vaccine. Residents are encouraged to be patient in the days and weeks following this expansion, as vaccination appointments may be limited. Find up-to-date eligibility guidelines, vaccination locations and available appointments at

Looking Ahead, Together

We have almost reached the finish line. In order to keep up our progress, we cannot let our guard down—please wear a mask and practice social distancing as we continue to drive down new cases. If you are still waiting to get your vaccine, I urge you to be patient as the state progresses through our rollout plan. I will continue to update you with new information as I receive it.

If you have questions or are in need of support during this time, please don’t hesitate to reach out to my office at 708-848-2002 or

Thank you for your efforts thus far to keep your family, friends and community safe. Your sacrifices have saved lives.



Don Harmon

Senate President | 39th District