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Vaccination teams will soon be dispatched to workplaces across Illinois.
The effort will begin this month with 10 sites in Chicago, Rockford and Schaumburg in the first wave of the program before branching out throughout Illinois.
The state is partnering with the Building Owners and Managers Association and local unions to encourage front desk staff, custodial workers, security personnel and other employees to sign up for an appointment in advance.
“If you haven’t had the chance to get a vaccination yet, or you weren’t sure if it was worth the trek, you can now get one right at your place of work,” Gov. J.B. Pritzker said.
Dates and times for vaccinations will be promoted in advance and will be chosen strategically around shift changes.
“This is about making sure that we are opening up opportunities for businesses, for employees to come back to work,” Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said.
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During a news briefing Monday, the governor was asked about the offices of the Illinois Department of Employment Security, which remain closed. Pritzker said all state agencies are working on a schedule to reopen, but security is an issue at IDES.
“There have been literally physical threats that have been brought upon the managers there, and so we are working with security advisors, working with our state police and so on to try to figure out how to do that safely,” Pritzker said.
Monday’s update came as Illinois prepares to move into the Bridge Phase of the state’s COVID-19 reopening plan on Friday. Pritzker announced last week that the state would move from the current Phase 4 into the transitional Bridge Phase after case numbers and hospitalizations have stabilized. Pritzker also said the state is on track to enter Phase 5, which would mark a full reopening, as early as June 11.
“As a physician, I know and have seen the benefits of vaccinations,” Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said. “In fact, nearly all doctors have already been vaccinated and I encourage people who may have questions or concerns about the vaccine to walk with their doctor.”