Illinois to align with new CDC recommendations

Coronavirus

Protective N-95 face masks lie on a table at an office in Washington, D.C., February 26, 2020. (Eva Hambach / AFP / Getty)

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WMBD) — The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) announced that it will adopt updated Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) masking recommendations to protect against COVID-19 and the Delta variant Tuesday.

The CDC now recommends that everyone wear a mask in public indoor settings, in areas with substantial and high transmission. This includes those who are fully vaccinated.

The CDC is also recommending indoor masking for students and staff at all K-12 schools.

“While data continues to show the effectiveness of the three COVID-19 vaccines currently authorized in the U.S., including against the Delta variant, we are still seeing the virus rapidly spread among the unvaccinated,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike. 

“Cases and hospitalizations due to COVID-19 both continue to increase, overwhelmingly among the unvaccinated, but the risk is greater for everyone if we do not stop the ongoing spread of the virus and the Delta variant.  We know masking can help prevent transmission of COVID-19 and its variants.  Until more people are vaccinated, we join CDC in recommending everyone, regardless of vaccination status, wear a mask indoors in areas of substantial and high transmissions, and in K-12 schools,” Ezike said.

The CDC data shows that the delta variant is much more contagious, and is causing some vaccine breakthrough cases.

Masking is encouraged in counties with substantial or high transmission. Locally Tazewell, McLean, and Fulton County’s transmission rates are substantial, and Stark and Mason county’s transmission rates are at High transmission.

Risk levels can be tracked on the CDC’s website.

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