Breaking ~ Illinois to go maskless on Feb. 28

CHICAGO -- With the spread of the Coronavirus and hospitalizations numbers going downward, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker announced today the state's indoor mask mandate will come to an end at the end of this month.

"If these trends continue, and we expect them to, then on Monday, February 28, we will lift the indoor mask requirements for the State of Illinois," Pritzker said at his 2pm press conference in Chicago. Currently, Illinois is one of nine states that still required masks inside public places.

After the 28th, masking will then be optional in grocery stores, bars and restaurants, public buildings, and non-scholastic sporting events - vaccinated or not.

There will be some indoor areas and venues where masks will still be required until further notice.

  • Schools.
  • Day cares.
  • Health care facilities.
  • Congregate care facilities.
  • Public transportation, including buses, trains and airplanes.
  • Federal buildings in areas of high of substantial risk of transmission.
  • Long-term care facilities when in communal areas.
  • In businesses that privately require mask use.
  • When in municipalities, like cities or counties, that have mask mandates.
  • Local business and places of employment

As far as metrics to end the current mask mandate that started August 30 last year, the governor announced those earlier during the day in Champaign.

"My intention is as we've seen these numbers peak at about 7,400 hospitalizations, and heading downward significantly — we're now I think under 2,500 hospitalizations, so that's almost a third of where we were at the peak and heading even further downward — to lift the mask mandate in the indoor locations by February 28," he said at morningn news conference in the downstate college town.

Gov. Pritzker also said businesses and private organizations can enforce their own indoor mitigations, which includes wearing masks.

"I want to be clear, many local jurisdictions, many business and organizations have their own mask requirements and other mitigations that must be respected. Having stricter mitigations than the state requirements is something that must be adhere to. Doing what is right for your private business or for your local communities is encouraged.

"The lifting of the state's mask mandate should not invite people not wearing mask disuade those who chose to wear masks."

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