ILLINOIS (WMBD) — Illinois residents are now required to wear masks in all indoor settings beginning Monday, Aug. 30. Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced the mandate last Thursday. He said is public safety concerns center around hospitalizations.
He said ICU usage has increased by a factor of seven this summer alone. He also said that at least 95 percent of all COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths are unvaccinated people.
“It is a pandemic of the unvaccinated,” Pritzker said in his address Thursday. He said the communities with the most unvaccinated residents are the same communities with the least amount of hospitals and resources.
Along with the indoor mask mandate, Pritzker also announced a vaccine mandate for some healthcare workers and school teachers and staff. This mandate is effective Sept. 5.
Teachers must get vaccinated or undergo weekly COVID-19 testing. If the worker refuses, they cannot return to work.
State Rep. Ryan Spain (R-Peoria) said he thinks more people, including local units of government, should have a say in these sweeping decisions.
“The issue with mask mandates is that people throughout the state of Illinois are tired of all the decisions for the state of Illinois being made by one person,” Spain said. “We have to restore checks and balances.”
He said Illinois is a very big state with many diverse communities, all with different needs.