SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Public Health have announced that Illinois will align state executive orders with the latest CDC guidance and rescind IDPH emergency rules enforcing masking and distance.
The news follows guidance from the CDC that fully vaccinated people can stop wearing a mask and practicing social distancing in most indoor and outdoor settings.
The CDC continues to require masks for everyone in healthcare settings, in congregate settings and on transit. In addition, in line with CDC guidance, the Illinois State Board of Education and Illinois Department of Public Health require masks in schools.
The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services requires masks in daycare.
The governor is issuing an updated executive order to remove the mask requirement for fully vaccinated people in most settings, and the Illinois Department of Public Health is rescinding emergency rules in the Control of Communicable Disease Code that enforce masking and distancing for vaccinated people in business settings.
In line with CDC guidance, individuals who are unvaccinated should continue wearing masks in most settings and both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals should continue to wear masks on public transportation, in congregate facilities, and in healthcare settings.
Despite the state’s announcement, Mayor Lightfoot questioned the CDC’s decision.
“I don’t want to have people lulled into a false sense of security,” Lightfoot said. “I think their announcement last week regarding masks has left people a bit confused and so what I’m saying is I think we need from the CDC some clarification on what that means.”
Despite that, on Monday evening the Chicago Department of Public Health said, “COVID-19 vaccinations are safe and effective, and Chicago will broadly align with the CDC and State’s updated mask guidance for fully vaccinated individuals, agreeing that these individuals are safe in most settings without masks.”
The city along with the state will recommend face masks for those who are not vaccinated and high-risk individuals.
As of Monday, more than 4.6 million Illinoisans are fully vaccinated — 58% of residents 16+, 64% of residents 18+ and 86% of residents 65+.
The CDC still recommends that unvaccinated people continue to take preventive measures, such as wearing a mask and practicing social distancing.
In its latest guidance, the CDC now reports that indoor and outdoor activities pose minimal risk to fully vaccinated people and that fully vaccinated people have a reduced risk of transmitting SARS-CoV-2 to unvaccinated people.
Fully vaccinated people can:
- Resume activities without wearing masks or physically distancing, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance
- Resume domestic travel and refrain from testing before or after travel or self-quarantine after travel
- Refrain from testing before leaving the United States for international travel (unless required by the destination) and refrain from self-quarantine after arriving back in the United States
- Refrain from testing following a known exposure, if asymptomatic, with some exceptions for specific settings
- Refrain from quarantine following a known exposure if asymptomatic
- Refrain from routine screening testing if feasible
For now, fully vaccinated people should continue to:
- Get tested if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms
- Follow CDC and health department travel requirements and recommendations