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Gov. Pritzker: Ill. to lift mask mandate for most indoor areas by Feb. 28

Published: Feb. 9, 2022 at 8:43 AM CST|Updated: Feb. 9, 2022 at 3:07 PM CST
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CHICAGO, Ill. (KFVS) - During his COVID-19 briefing at 2 p.m., Governor JB Pritzker outlined his plan to lift the state’s mask mandate for most indoor areas by February 28.

Governor JB Pritzker gave an update on the state’s response to COVID-19 on Wednesday, February 9.

Gov. Pritzker’s COVID-19 update

LIVE: Gov. Pritzker’s COVID-19 update>>>> https://bit.ly/3GCNE9u

Posted by KFVS-TV on Wednesday, February 9, 2022

The governor said mask requirements will continue where federally mandated, such as in high-risk settings including healthcare facilities and congregate care.

Federal requirements, in effect through at least March 18, also include all transportation systems such as airports, planes, trains, and buses.

Masking requirements will also continue to apply in all daycare settings.

According to Governor Pritzker, the state intends to continue masking requirements in P-12 schools subject to pending litigation, which impacts a number of schools.

We are now seeing the fastest rate of decline in our COVID-19 hospitalization metrics since the pandemic began. If...

Posted by Governor JB Pritzker on Wednesday, February 9, 2022

“We are now seeing the fastest rate of decline in our COVID-19 hospitalization metrics since the pandemic began. If these trends continue — and we expect them to —then on Monday, February 28th, we will lift the indoor mask requirement for the State of Illinois,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “I want to be clear: Many local jurisdictions, businesses and organizations have their own mask requirements and other mitigations that must be respected. Throughout this pandemic, we’ve deployed the tools available to us as needed. Our approach has saved lives and kept our economy open and growing.”

The governor said municipalities and businesses in most industries may choose to continue to implement more strict public health mitigations as they deem appropriate, including requiring masks.

He said more than 21.4 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered to Illinois residents.

As of Wednesday, the Illinois Department of Public Health is reporting 4,742 new confirmed and probable cases and 2,496 people in the hospital with COVID-19.

IDPH is also reporting 449 people with COVID-19 in the ICU and 243 people on ventilators.

With 20 percent of ICU beds now available statewide, they say this marks the fastest rate of decline in the hospital metrics since the pandemic began.

“While masks will no longer be required in most indoor locations beginning February 28, they are still recommended,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike. “Masks offer a layer of protection and for people who have an underlying health condition or who are around those who do, you may choose to continue wearing a mask. Similarly, if you find yourself in a crowded, indoor setting, a mask can still help protect you. We will continue to recommend masks.”

Illinois returned to a statewide indoor mask requirement on August 30, 2021, as ICU bed availability in certain regions of the state dropped into the low single digits.

Illinois required masks in all P-12 schools and daycares on August 4, 2021, following the strong recommendation of the CDC.

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