cdc mask guidelines

Do You Need to Wear a Mask in Illinois? Here's What We Know So Far on New CDC Guidance

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Now that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has changed its mask guidelines for fully vaccinated people, many are asking, "Do I need to wear a mask here?"

The CDC revised its guidelines on Thursday, saying that vaccinated individuals should not be required to wear masks in indoor and outdoor settings, with some exceptions.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said he plans to revise executive orders to sync up with new CDC guidelines.

“I firmly believe in following the science, and will revise my executive orders in line with CDC guidelines lifting additional mitigations for vaccinated people,” Pritzker said. “The scientists’ message is clear: if you are vaccinated, you can safely do much more.”

Those orders had not yet been revised as of Friday morning.

Similarly, in Chicago, the city's health department said it is "supportive of this recommendation allowing people who are fully vaccinated to participate in most indoor and outdoor activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing."

"As the city noted earlier [Thursday] in its announcement further reopening Chicago, we continue to make progress on the main COVID metrics and have moved from high to moderate risk level for COVID transmission," the statement read. "We will work with the state and our industry and business partners to review and update guidance for specific settings, and expect to broadly follow this new CDC guidance across most settings. This does not, however, mean that masks are going away."

While local guidelines will likely still be issued, here's a breakdown of when and where you'll need to wear a mask under the CDC guidance:

Where do I still need to wear a mask if I am fully vaccinated?

According to the CDC, "fully vaccinated people can resume activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing," but there are some exceptions.

Those exceptions include places where masks are required by "federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance."

Fully vaccinated people should also continue to wear a well-fitted mask in:

  • correctional facilities and homeless shelters
  • If you travel, you will still be required to wear a mask on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States, and in U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations

Chicago's health department echoed those claims.

"We also agree with the CDC that masks should be worn during travel, including use of public transit, and that the unvaccinated should continue to wear masks in most settings," the department's statement read.

Some businesses have also announced plans to continue mask requirements at least for now.

"Target will continue to require all of our coronavirus safety measures in all stores, including masks and social distancing, while we review guidance from the CDC and evaluate the guidance we offer our team and guests," the company said in a statement Friday.

Others, however, have revealed plans to allow fully vaccinated shoppers to remove their masks.

"We encourage customers to follow the guidance of health officials, including, as appropriate, CDC guidelines that advise customers who are fully vaccinated are not required to wear masks while shopping," a message on Trader Joe's website read Friday.

Shoppers will likely need to follow guidance for each individual business.

What if I am not fully vaccinated?

If you are not fully vaccinated, you will need to wear a mask in most instances.

Those who are not vaccinated can go outside without masks in some cases, however.

Here's a look at what the CDC says is safe for unvaccinated people to do without a mask:

  • Walk, run, or bike outdoors with members of your household
  • Attend a small, outdoor gathering with fully vaccinated family and friends
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