BREAKING NEWS: Illinois is bringing back a statewide indoor mask mandate starting Monday, a vaccine mandate for all school employees in P-12 and all employees and students in higher education facilities statewide, and other restrictions, Gov. JB Pritzker said in his press conference this morning.

BREAKING: Illinois Hit With New Covid-19 Restrictions, More Could Be On The Way

Illinois Governor JB Pritzker announces new covid-19 restrictions for the state.

The mask mandate applies to anyone over the age of two, regardless of vaccination status, echoing the same mask mandate brought back to Chicago two weeks ago, and to Cook County surrounding Chicagoland last week.

All educational system and healthcare system employees will be mandated to get the covid-19 vaccination or submit to regular testing for covid. All higher education employees and students will also be mandated to get the covid-19 vaccine.

Potential further mitigations and possible hybrid or virtual learning plans are looming for Illinois schools if numbers do not improve.

Already, several schools, including schools in the Decatur Public Schools district, the Berrien schools district, the DeKalb schools district and BREAKING: Illinois Hit With New Covid-19 Restrictions, More Could Be On The Wayothers have announced they will be going to a virtual learning program until at least mid-September.

In early August, Pritzker announced Illinois students preschool through 12 would be required to wear masks during school and indoor sports and activities, as reported on

More mitigations could be on the way if numbers do not improve, Pritzker said.

“To be clear, what I am announcing today is a floor, a minimum,” Pritzker said.

“This is driven by the delta variant’s spread and increased by communities with low vaccination rates,” Pritzker said. “Let us be clear, this is a pandemic of the unvaccinated.

“Nearly all Illinoisans who are hospitalized are those who are unvaccinated. From January to July, 98 percent of our cases have been among the unvaccinated, 96 percent of our hospitalizations have been among the unvaccinated, 95 percent of deaths have been among the unvaccinated,” Pritzker continued. “These are preventable deaths. Beyond the tragedy of losing lives this means wreaking damage on entire communities. Vaccination is the most effective tool we have for keeping this virus at bay.”

The state numbers are being dragged down by Southern and East Central Illinois, Pritzker said.

BREAKING: Illinois Hit With New Covid-19 Restrictions, More Could Be On The Way“We are the most vaccinated state in the Midwest, however the numbers across the state are not consistent. In Southern and East Central Illinois less than half of residents are fully vaccinated as opposed to over 70 in Chicago and Cook County,” Pritzker said. “Only 3 percent ICU beds are available in those regions. Even during the spring surge, percentages never dropped lower than 15 percent.

“At the end of the day, the best way for people to manage this situation is for people and community to stop this surge by using masks and prevention and getting vaccinated,” he added. “Healthcare providers are now having to put their own lives and their families’ lives at risk because people have not taken appropriate actions to stop the spread of this virus.”

How long will the mitigations continue?

“Until we alleviate the pressure on hospitals we’re going to have to continue the mitigations we have in place,” Pritzker said. “We need to make sure ICU beds and the healthcare system is available not just for people with covid but for other issues which might take them to the hospital.”

How long will masks be required in schools?

“We have to be able to see the curve bend as it did before, before we end those requirements, and we’re nowhere close to that right now,” Pritzker said. “That goes for other mitigations as well.”

When could further mitigations be put in place? Pritzker didn’t give a timeline, but did say the door was open to them.

“We all know when these numbers get to a place where it’s out of control, you have to take further steps,” he said.

For ongoing coverage of this issue, continue to check in daily with your free, fact-based local alternative media,

BREAKING: Illinois Hit With New Covid-19 Restrictions, More Could Be On The Way
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.
BREAKING: Illinois Hit With New Covid-19 Restrictions, More Could Be On The Way

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