Governor Pritzker formally lifts Illinois masks mandate for vaccinated residents
File Photo – Illinois Governor JB Pritzker. | Photo: Illinois Information Service.
Governor JB Pritzker officially lifted his mask mandate for vaccinated Illinois residents Monday, in accordance with CDC guidelines last week.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated their guidelines Thursday, saying that fully vaccinated individuals can resume activities without wearing masks or physical distancing unless required by state or state regulations.
The CDC said it is safe for people who are fully vaccinated to walk indoors and outdoors without a mask, including attending a full capacity church service or an indoor exercise class.
The only exceptions include that fully vaccinated individuals should continue to wear a mask on public transport such as buses, trains and airplanes, and in a hospital or health facility, the CDC said.
“Anyone who is fully vaccinated can participate in indoor and outdoor activities – large or small – without wearing a mask or physically distancing themselves,” said CDC director Rochelle Walensky.
“When you are fully vaccinated, you can start doing the things you stopped doing because of the pandemic,” Walensky said.
Pritzker said on social media Thursday afternoon that he would revise his orders to align with the CDC’s new guidelines.
“The message from the scientists is clear: Those who are vaccinated can certainly do a lot more,” said Pritzker.
On Monday, Pritzker said in a statement that he has since aligned Illinois policy with CDC guidelines.
“A vaccination is the ultimate protection against COVID-19 and the fastest ticket back to normal life. Since the CDC says that fully vaccinated people can safely remove their masks in most environments, I am pleased to be following the scientific guidelines and aligning the Illinois guidelines with their guidelines, ”he said.
“I also support the decision of individuals and companies to continue to hide out of caution as this pandemic is not over yet,” added Pritzker.
The governor is issuing an updated executive order to remove masking requirements for fully vaccinated individuals in most settings, and the Illinois Department of Health is repealing emergency rules in the Communicable Disease Control Act that enforce masking and distancing for vaccinated individuals in business settings.
The Illinois State Board of Education and the Illinois Department of Public Health will continue to require masks in schools, and the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services will continue to require masks in daycare.
“While the updated guidelines from the CDC are welcome news, I would like to remind everyone that these guidelines are only for those who are fully vaccinated,” said Dr. Ngozi Ezike, director of the Illinois Department of Health.
“People who do not have the protection offered by any of the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines should still wear a mask,” Ezike said.
In Illinois and the United States, COVID-19 cases and deaths continue to decline as more people are vaccinated.
The Illinois Department of Health (IDPH) announced that as of Monday, more than 64% of adults in the state received at least their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
In total, over 10.4 million vaccine doses have been administered in the state.