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Illinois Gov. Pritzker is introducing mask mandate for schools

Illinois Gov. Pritzker is introducing mask mandate for schools

August 6, 2021: -On Wednesday, Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker introduced a mask mandate for all state students regardless of their vaccination status at a news conference, requiring facial coverings in all indoor settings from preschool through high school.

Pritzker notes that the new order will be an impact on 1.8 million unvaccinated children under the age of 12. In addition to requiring masks in schools, Pritzker mandated facial coverings in all long-term care facilities in the state and state-run corrections facilities, veterans homes, psychiatric hospitals, and developmental centers.

“Preventing outbreaks from the start also prevents kids from having to stay home because they’re sick or in quarantine,” Pritzker said.

The move comes as the coronavirus delta variant spreads rapidly across the state and the nation.

According to data from Johns Hopkins University, Illinois experienced a 46% increase in cases last week, a seven-day average of almost 1,669 new coronavirus cases.

Pritzker’s announcement also comes as state and local governments continue to introduce health measures to mitigate the spread of infectious diseases. On Monday, seven counties in Northern California issued a mask mandate for all indoor settings, elevating a facial covering advisory issued in July to a requirement.

Louisiana issued a new statewide mask mandate for residents in public indoor settings until at least September 1 on the same day, a measure that includes students from kindergarten to college. Nevada revived its mask mandate for indoor public spaces on July 27, though it applies only to counties with elevated Covid transmission rates.

And on Tuesday, New York City mandated vaccinations for employees and patrons of the city’s restaurants, gyms, and entertainment centers, an order that will take effect in September. Mayor Bill de Blasio also said in June that city schools would keep their mask mandates in place.

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