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Gov. Pritzker announces masks required in Pre-K-12 schools, daycares statewide

Published: Aug. 4, 2021 at 11:28 AM CDT|Updated: Aug. 4, 2021 at 5:59 PM CDT
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CHICAGO, Ill. (KFVS) - Governor JB Pritzker announced a statewide mask mandate in Pre-K-12 schools and daycares, effective immediately.

It includes youth sports and activities, with masks not required for all indoor extracurriculars and sports.

The state is also requiring universal masking in private long-term care facilities, regardless of vaccination status, and strongly encouraged owners of private facilities to join the state in adopting vaccination requirements.

He also announced Illinois will require vaccinations for all state employees working in congregate facilities by October 4.

This includes employees who work in state veterans’ homes, developmental centers, correctional facilities and juvenile justice facilities.

“Given our current trajectory in hospitalizations and ICU usage, we have a limited amount of time right now to stave off the highest peaks of this surge going into the fall,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “To combat the Delta variant, Illinois is taking three key steps to protect our state’s 1.8 million unvaccinated children under 12 and their families, residents and staff of long-term care facilities, and those highly vulnerable people who rely upon state employees for their daily care. I also encourage every Illinoisan who is eligible to get vaccinated as soon as possible, as millions of their neighbors already have. This vaccine is safe, effective, and essentially eliminates the risk of hospitalization and death even from the Delta variant. In short, it’s the best tool we have.”

The governor held the briefing in Chicago on Wednesday afternoon, August 4.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Illinois Department of Public Health announced it would expand access to free COVID-19 testing to all K-12 public schools in the state.

IDPH also announced a new website that includes COVID-19 vaccination data for residents and staff in long-term care facilities.

Cases of COVID-19 in Illinois

According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, 1,430,265 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in the state, including 10,846 variant cases, 23,476 deaths and 2,484 probable deaths, as of Wednesday.

IDPH said 13,336,841 vaccines have been administered.

State and nationwide, health leaders are concerned about the spread of the Delta variant. They say it is twice as contagious and some fully vaccinated people can spread the Delta variant, but vaccines provide protection from hospitalization, severe disease, and death.

Currently, the test positivity rate in Illinois is at 5.1 percent and the case positivity rate is 4.4 percent.

Every county in southern Illinois is considered a high transmission area.

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