Masks No Longer Required In Illinois Businesses, OR Schools, Starting TOMORROW
Illinois will no longer have a statewide mask mandate starting Monday — including in schools.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced on Friday that students and staff in schools statewide will no longer be required to wear masks in Illinois schools as of Monday, and he will withdraw the executive order for that mandate, in alignment with new Centers for Disease Control recommendations.
The new CDC rules are more targeting, saying people should only wear masks indoors in communities where hospitals are at risk of being overwhelmed by patients diagnosed with covid.
The new rules no longer call for all students and staff to be masked in schools. Instead, only schools in communities at a high level of risk should require masks to be worn, CDC officials said.
Pritzker’s decision also comes after the Illinois Supreme Court declined to take up his request to overturn an appellate court decision that said schools could remove the mandates.
Illinois covid numbers for cases, infection rates, deaths and hospitalizations hit their lowest numbers in six months this week, as the statewide mask mandate is set to end Feb. 28.
On Monday, the state of Illinois, Cook County and Chicago will lift mask mandates and, for the county and city, vaccine mandates.
Covid numbers have taken a huge dip in the previous few weeks.
The state is now averaging 2,184 new cases per day, its lowest daily average since late October.
According to the latest data available from the Illinois Department of Public Health, there are currently 1,096 patients in Illinois hospitals that have tested positive for covid-19. A total of 235 patients are currently in intensive care unit beds, officials said.
Illinois’ covid test positivity rate is now down to 2%, while the positivity rate on individuals tested has now fallen to 2.6%.
Thousands of students and parents statewide in Illinois have been defying Gov. JB Pritzker’s order for mask mandates in schools upon the announcement of Sangamon County Circuit Judge Raylene Grischow last month granting a request from downstate attorney Tom DeVore to temporarily halt the governor’s executive orders on masking and quarantining for schools. Grischow issued her temporary restraining order on Feb. 4 in response to a lawsuit filed by a group of parents and students representing more than 100 school districts.
For more information on this ongoing situation, continue to monitor QuadCities.com.