The city of Chicago in the United States has issued a new mask mandate requiring all people over the age of two to wear masks when indoors.
The Chicago Department of Public Health recommended Friday that “businesses, employers and event organizers require universal masking in all indoor public settings.
The new guidelines keep the optional masks on the outside and do not change the social distancing recommendations.
In a statement, Allison Arwady, the city’s public health commissioner, said: “We are taking this step to prevent further spread of the highly contagious Delta variant and to protect public health.”
“This is not going to last forever, but it is necessary to help reduce risk for all Chicagoans at this time.”
Cook County was added to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) list of areas with “substantial” transmission of Covid-19 on Thursday.
Cook, DuPage, McHenry and Will counties in the Chicago area, as well as 80 others in Illinois, have reached the point where masks are recommended for everyone indoors, regardless of vaccination status.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued new guidelines Tuesday for counties experiencing “substantial” or “high” transmission as the Delta variant of COVID-19 spreads across the country.
The Illinois Secretary of State office announced Tuesday that the mask policy will be reinstated at all Driver Services facilities, Secretary of State offices and the Illinois State Capitol Building beginning August 2. .
On Thursday, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker ordered masks to be worn at all state facilities under his control.
Illinois health officials reported 2,348 new cases of Covid-19 on Friday, the second time in three days that the count has surpassed 2,000.
Over the past seven days, the state averaged 1,669 new cases per day, an increase of about 46% from the prior week average of 1,140 cases per day.
During the spring surge, Illinois recorded a peak of 3,390 daily cases in mid-April.
In addition to new cases of Covid-19, hospitalizations are increasing in Illinois.
Currently, 903 people are being treated in hospitals across the state for Covid-19, bringing the seven-day average to 796, the highest level since the week ending June 9, when the state was treating an average than 816 Covid-19 patients per day.