6/11/21 - A Message from Secretary Hou: Illinois Enters Phase 5!

Dear colleagues,

The State of Illinois entered Phase 5 today, the fifth and final phase of the Restore Illinois reopening plan, in which all sectors of the economy reopen with businesses and recreation resuming normal operations, and where conventions, festivals, and large events can take place. After all that IDHS has been through in the past 15 months, this is a huge milestone and something to be celebrated.

In follow-up to recent CDC guidance and as part of the move to the Bridge and now Phase 5, fully-vaccinated employees, who do not work in our 24/7 facilities and who are not interacting with customers and visitors, will ultimately be able to not wear masks and to not socially distance in the workplace. You may have received some guidance on this already, including on how to voluntarily provide proof of vaccination. Please anticipate further guidance in the coming days.

In short, with more information to follow:

  • If you are fully vaccinated and can demonstrate proof of full vaccination, you will be able to discontinue the use of a mask while in the office.
  • Those interacting with customers or visitors at IDHS offices will continue to be required to wear a mask, regardless of vaccination status while providing services.
  • All customers and visitors of our State offices and facilities will also be required to wear a mask while on premises.

This Phase 5 milestone is proof that COVID-19 vaccines are effective at preventing COVID-19 disease, especially severe illness and death and that COVID-19 vaccines reduce the risk of people spreading COVID-19. If you have not already, please consider vaccination.

As we begin to see our State return back to normal operations, please reflect on the incredible work that you have all done to keep the people of Illinois safe and supported over the last year. Thank you for all you have contributed.

You can learn more about the Phase 5 recommended public health practices by visiting the IDPH's website.


Grace B. Hou