By Meredith Barack

CHICAGO (CBS)– Thursday, President Joe Biden is expected to announce new federal COVID mandates.

Biden is expected to explain new steps that will try to increase vaccination rates, keep schools open, protect the economic recovery, and improve care for those with COVID.

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A source familiar with the president’s six-pillar approach shared details of what we can expect; the first being vaccinating the unvaccinated.

This part of the plan will reportedly focus on vaccine requirements, including building upon the ones already in place for many federal workers and pressing private businesses to do the same.

The second is furthering protection for the vaccinated, meaning booster shots.

Up to 5.2 million people may be eligible the first week they are expected to be available.

In Illinois, 60% of the eligible population is fully vaccinated, and 78% have at lease one dose of the shot, according to state health data.

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The third step is a focus on keeping schools open.

The fourth is increasing testing and requiring masking. Officials say that means expanded access to testing and wading into the heated debate over masking in schools.

Economic recovery is the fifth step, as the president continues to make the case for his large-scale economic agenda.

The last step is improving care for those with COVID-19. So far, that’s meant helping hospitals inundated with patients.

Three months ago, Biden hoped this summer would be free from the virus’s deadly grip.

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According to data from Johns Hopkins University, the U.S. is averaging nearly 1,500 deaths per day over the past week.

Meredith Barack