CHICAGO, Ill. (WMBD) — The State of Illinois announced on Thursday that face coverings are now required in all state facilities for both vaccinated and unvaccinated people.
The announcements came after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released data showing a high level of COVID-19 transmission in most of Illinois’ counties.
In public indoor settings where there is a substantial risk of transmission, the Illinois Department of Health (IDPH) recommends everyone wears a mask, regardless of whether they are vaccinated or not.
“Given that the majority of the state is experiencing substantial or high COVID-19 transmission as measured by the CDC, all State of Illinois facilities will require face coverings – regardless of vaccination status – in line with the CDC’s current best guidance for ending this pandemic,” said Governor JB Pritzker.
Pritzker also said, “Vaccines work – but we cannot promise those protections for every single future variant if we allow this virus to spread and mutate unchecked in our communities. With all the misinformation out there, I encourage all eligible Illinoisans who haven’t been vaccinated yet to talk to their doctors to alleviate any of their fears. Vaccines are how we put this pandemic behind us for once and for all, but I will continue to evaluate the need for further additional mitigations.”
COVID-19 cases caused by the Delta variant have increased in Illinois over the past few weeks, and CDC estimates show more cases are likely. The Delta variant spreads more easily than other variants, and there is now the possibility that those fully vaccinated who may be infected with Delta can infect others.
State employees now must:
- Cover their nose and mouth with a face covering when at work or performing work duties in indoor settings outside their home, unless they have a medical condition that prevents them from doing so
- Keep at least six feet of space between you and anyone else in a workplace or while working outside your residence
When visiting state offices and facilities, all visitors over the age of two must wear a mask, unless they cannot medically tolerate a mask.
State facilities will be cleaned regularly, and cleaning supplies will be provided to employees to disinfect their own workstations and high-touch spaces.