Governor Pritzker Issues Indoor Mask Mandate for Illinois

Illinois issues mask mandate, orders vaccines for schools

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Thursday announced a statewide indoor mask mandate and vaccine requirements for state workers, including teachers and school staff.

“Unfortunately, we are running out of time as our hospitals run out of beds,” Pritzker said. Health experts, he said, “fear the worst is yet to come for us, to put it bluntly. Because of the delta variant, hospitals are again fighting the battle that we had hoped would be behind us by now.”

“Vaccination remains our strongest tool to protect ourselves and our loved ones to restore post-pandemic life to our communities and, most crucially, to maintain our healthcare system’s ability to care for anyone who walks through their doors that needs help,” Pritzker said.

“My number one concern is, right now, keeping our healthcare system available, not just for people who may get COVID-19. But for people who have other problems that would take them to the hospital,” he said. “You don’t need to be an epidemiologist to understand what’s going on here. This is a pandemic of the unvaccinated.”

Pritzker’s announcement came in the wake of Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s recent order requiring all city employees, including police and firefighters, to be vaccinated or have proof of a valid medical or religious exemption. L1N2PW1TR

The policy in the third-largest U.S. city comes as numerous other municipalities, school districts and governments across the nation grapple with masking and vaccination requirements.

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