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Mask Mandates Aren’t Leaving Illinois Any Time Soon, Pritzker Says

November 4th, 2021 Share:  

Alongside your turkey, pumpkin pie, and mashed potatoes, should we expect to see masks once more at Thanksgiving dinner this year?

It’s looking like it.

Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker talked to the media at an event to showcase him getting his covid-19 booster shot (Pfizer) and didn’t rule that out. Mask Mandates Aren't Leaving Illinois Any Time Soon, Pritzker SaysPritzker said there’s a possibility he might lift the statewide indoor mask mandate in time for the holidays, but he doesn’t see it happening any time soon. Given that there’s only three weeks until Thanksgiving, it’s not looking promising.

“What we’re trying to evaluate is are the hospitalization numbers increasing, decreasing, or staying the same,” Pritzker said. “We want them decreasing. They’re not currently, just to be clear. New hospitalizations are flat. That is not a good sign.”

Hospital numbers must improve before he removes the indoor mask requirement outside of schools, Pritzker said.

As of today, Illinois’ seven-day rolling test positive positivity average is 2.3 percent, up slightly from last week’s 2.2 percent.

Over 70 percent of Illinois residents age 12 and older are vaccinated.

While he hasn’t yet, Pritzker is planning on signing that would allow employers to fire workers for refusing covid protocols including mandatory vaccinations, reports say.

The Health Care Right of Conscience Act amendment bans employees from using their moral beliefs as a reason to refuse to comply with a LATEST: Will Illinois Employers Be Able To Fire Employees For Refusing Covid Vaccinations?workplace’s covid mandates, which could include mandatory vaccinations.

The Illinois Senate voted 31-24 to approve the proposal late Thursday night. This measure passed out of the House on a 64-52-2 vote.

The new amendment is on the desk of Gov. JB Pritzker waiting to be signed into the law.

If the amendment is signed, Illinois employers could very soon be allowed to fire employees who refuse to get vaccinated or comply with other covid-19 regulations. And it certainly looks as if it will be, given Pritzker’s statement on the matter.

“We have effective tools to fight this pandemic — namely, vaccines, masks and testing — and all of our communities are safer when we use the public health and workplace safety protocols we know to work,” said Pritzker in a statement. “… This legislation clarifies existing law’s intent without infringing on federal protections. Ultimately, this means we can keep kids in school, businesses open, neighbors safe, and continue on the path to bring this pandemic to an end.”

If Pritkzer signs it, the new rules would be put into place starting June 1, 2022.

The Health Care Right of Conscience Act has actually been a law since 1998 and was driven by healthcare providers having moral objections to performing abortions. It was originally put into place to protect health care providers — doctors, nurses, etc. — from being forced to perform medical procedures such as abortions if they opted out due to moral objections.

Over the years, the parameters of the law have been stretched to include other procedures, and, in past two years, the law has been loosely applied to include moral objections to covid-19 mandates based on medical applications such as mandatory vaccinations and covid tests.

For ongoing coverage of this situation, continue to follow QuadCities.com.

Mask Mandates Aren't Leaving Illinois Any Time Soon, Pritzker Says
Sean Leary is an author, director, artist, musician, producer and entrepreneur who has been writing professionally since debuting at age 11 in the pages of the Comics Buyers Guide. An honors graduate of the University of Southern California masters program, he has written over 50 books including the best-sellers The Arimathean, Every Number is Lucky to Someone and We Are All Characters.
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