Illinois no longer requires masks in medical facilities
Illinois no longer requires masking at all medical facilities, Gov. JB Pritzker’s office announced Monday.
Pritzker has updated an executive order to trigger masking changes. The action marks a milestone in the pandemic and is in line with recently issued recommendations from the Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
After other mask mandates were lifted in Illinois earlier this year, health care facilities are still among the last public places to require masks.
But don’t expect hospitals and clinics to run out of masks overnight. Individual healthcare systems can still choose to require masks as needed. Masks continue to be recommended in healthcare facilities in areas with high community transmission. Cook and most of the surrounding counties now have “significant” but not high levels of community transmission, according to the CDC. DuPage County has high levels of community transmission.
Representatives of several Illinois hospital systems, including Sinai Chicago, Ascension Illinois and Rush, said Monday they have no plans to remove masking requirements at this time.
Dr. Rick Scott, Chief Clinical Officer of Ascension Illinois, said in a statement:
Illinois also does not require all health care workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19, Pritzker’s office said Monday. However, federal regulations require vaccinations for healthcare workers at facilities that accept Medicare and Medicaid, including nearly all healthcare facilities.
As part of the change, Illinois will no longer require unvaccinated health care workers to be tested for COVID-19 weekly.
“Thanks to the tremendous efforts of our healthcare workers and residents, Illinois has been able to keep people better safe with vaccines, boosters and masking. Continue to scale back healthcare requirements in line with the CDC.” We can do that,” Pritzker said in a news release.
However, it urged people to continue wearing masks and testing if they have symptoms of COVID-19.
“COVID-19 is becoming endemic, like the flu, but it remains a real threat to our communities with weakened immune systems and disabilities,” said Pritzker. “Here in Illinois, we look out for each other, and that is what defines us as Illinois. Let’s continue to live up to these ideals by getting booster shots.”
As of last week, approximately 10.5% of eligible Illinois residents have received new and updated COVID-19 boosters designed to prevent COVID-19 broadly, and are also currently receiving the predominant variant in the United States. .