As one of the first holiday weekends last year that people may not have to wear face coverings, Illinois and Chicago have tips for people fully vaccinated against the COVID-19.
Earlier this month, Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker announced that the state’s mask tenure was changing based on new guidance from the CDC.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revised their guidelines, saying people vaccinated should not be required to wear masks indoors and outdoors, with a few exceptions.
Pritzker has issued an updated executive order that will remove the mask requirement for fully immunized residents in most settings and the Illinois Department of Public Health “repeals emergency rules from the Communicable Disease Control Code which impose masking and distancing of vaccinated people in companies. “
In Chicago, fully vaccinated people will no longer be required to wear masks in most settings after the update in Illinois.
“If you are not fully vaccinated, you should continue to wear your mask in all indoor environments,” the Chicago Department of Public Health said in a statement.
The city noted that masks will always be required for all residents, regardless of immunization status, in health care facilities, schools, correctional / collective facilities and on public transportation.
City buildings will also continue to require masks “at least until capacity restrictions for COVID-19 are lifted.”
The city has encouraged companies unable to verify immunization status to continue demanding masks until capacity limits are lifted and the city reaches phase 5 of its reopening plan.
“We urge companies to verify that individuals are fully vaccinated in order to follow the new mask guidelines,” the CDPH statement said. “However, we know that many companies and other settings may not have the capacity to check people’s immunization status. Therefore, we continue to strongly recommend – but not require – masking policies for all indoor environments in Chicago until COVID-19 capacity restrictions are lifted and we enter phase five. “
Officials said unvaccinated residents should continue to wear masks in most settings, and residents should continue to wear masks on public transport, collective facilities and health facilities regardless their vaccination status.
Masks will also continue to be required in schools and daycares.
“Getting the vaccine is the ultimate protection against COVID-19 and the fastest ticket to getting back to normal life,” Pritzker said in a statement. “While public health experts now say fully vaccinated people can safely remove their masks in most settings, I’m happy to follow the science and align Illinois policies with CDC guidelines. . I also support the choice of individuals and businesses to continue to mask with an abundance of caution, because this pandemic is not yet over.
Arwady added that while there will be no “vaccination passport” requirement in the city for public spaces, businesses can request proof of vaccination.
“Part of this is that there is still a lot of work going on around some of the different applications and ways to verify vaccination. Someone’s vaccination card is good,” Arwady said. “If you have your CDC vaccine card – you have a photo, you have a photocopy of your vaccination card, you have a printout of your doctor’s office, etc. – at this time … that could be used, you know, if a restaurant or a bar, a business, you know, wants to check out and do that job. “
Regarding concerns surrounding people who may be lying about their immunization status, Arwady said further advice is expected this summer.
“Yes, people have their card, but that card is linked to a state-level registry, and the state and other states have been working on ways for people to self-apply for their immunization status. being able to have proof of that is available electronically and it’s just evolving technology, so I don’t want to talk about that, ”Arwady said. “Of course, one way or another, we’ll have up-to-date information.”
When questioned, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said the new mask guidelines did not change Chicago’s goal of fully reopening the city with no capacity limits by July 4.
“It doesn’t change the timeline, but I think we need to clarify for people what we need to do to get to this point,” Lightfoot said. “And again, we still have a long way to go. We need to lower, or continue to lower, our case rates. Our percentage of positivity is going in the right direction, but we still need to attract more people. , the long and the short of it. “