‘A dangerous period’: Cook County to require masks indoors

Illinois reported 4,904 new confirmed and probable coronavirus cases Friday, prompting the mask mandate

Masks will be required indoors throughout Cook County beginning Monday, regardless of whether a person has been vaccinated.

The Cook County Department of Public Health issued the order Friday, saying it’s needed as new COVID-19 cases continue to increase due to the more contagious delta variant.

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – JULY 27: Commuters, most wearing face masks, wait for an L train in the Loop on July 27, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is expected to recommend that fully vaccinated people begin wearing masks indoors again in places with high Covid-19 transmission rates as the delta variant begins to cause a spike in coronavirus cases in some regions of the country. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

“We are in a dangerous period, with the Delta variant surging, during which we must return to previous remediation measures,” said Dr. Rachel Rubin, co-lead and senior medical officer of Cook County Department of Public Health. “We have no choice but to mandate that people wear masks indoors to help contain this spread of the virus.”

Illinois reported 4,904 new confirmed and probable coronavirus cases Friday. That pushed the state’s seven-day average of new cases above the peak of a COVID-19 surge this spring.

The health department order applies to all multi-unit residential buildings and public places such as restaurants, stores fitness clubs and public transportation in suburban Cook County. Chicago reinstated its indoor mask mandate effective Friday, and Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker has already said masks are required in all schools.

Starting Friday, masks will be REQUIRED in all indoor public settings as the average number of new daily cases of COVID-19 in Chicago surpassed 400. Everyone regardless of vaccination status will be required to wear a mask while indoors in public settings. pic.twitter.com/K5ajzK9d4O

— ChiPublicHealth (@ChiPublicHealth) August 17, 2021

The mandate applies to anyone over age 2. Businesses also are required to post signs saying masks are required.

County Board President Toni Preckwinkle also said Friday the county is implementing a mandatory vaccinaton policy for employees under her jurisdiction, with a deadline of Oct. 15 for workers to comply or provide a verifiable religious or medical exemption.

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The post ‘A dangerous period’: Cook County to require masks indoors appeared first on TheGrio.

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