coronavirus illinois

Illinois Coronavirus Updates: Mask and Vaccine Mandates Lift, School Guidelines Shift

Here's what you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic across Illinois today

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Vaccine and mask mandates across the Chicago area and Illinois are lifting, but where will you still need one and what changes can you expect to see?

With new guidelines announced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as shifting school guidelines in Illinois, there's a lot to keep track of.

Here's what you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic across Illinois today:

United Center to Adjust COVID Rules as Chicago Lifts Mask, Vaccine Mandates

The United Center is easing its in-arena COVID-19 guidelines in the wake of the city of Chicago lifting its mask and proof-of-vaccination mandates for restaurants, bars and other indoor establishments, the arena announced Monday morning.

Read more here.

What to Know as Mask Mandates End Monday in Chicago and Illinois

Mask mandates are being lifted across Illinois, including in Chicago, Monday, marking the end of a months-long requirement for many indoor public spaces.

But that doesn't mean you won't need masks in certain locations.

Here's what you should know as the mandates are lifted.

Metra, CTA Remind Riders That Masks Are Still Required Despite Mandates Lifting

As mask mandates are lifted throughout Illinois and Chicago on Monday, face coverings will no longer be required in many places, but mask policies remain in place for public transportation and Metra and the Chicago Transit Authority are reminding riders of that.

The new guidelines do not change the federal requirement to wear masks on public transportation and indoors in airports, train stations and bus stations.

The Chicago Transit Authority reminded travelers Saturday that masks are still required on public buses and trains, as well as within the station.

Metra also issued an alert to riders Monday morning.

Read more here.

Here Are the Illinois Counties Where You Should Still Wear a Mask, According to CDC

The U.S. has relaxed mask guidance for the majority of Americans, explaining more than 70% of people live in areas where masks can safely be removed indoors.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced a shift in metrics Friday that leans less heavily on COVID-19 cases and instead gives more weight to hospitalizations and hospital capacity.

While the new recommendation means most people don't need to wear a mask indoors, that's not the case for everyone in Illinois.

A total of 21 Illinois counties are experiencing troublesome metrics and are listed as having "high" COVID transmission.

Read more here.

CPS Reminds Parents That Mask Mandate Remains in Effect for Students, Teachers

Although mask mandates in public places and schools in the state of Illinois will end on Monday, Chicago Public Schools officials are reminding parents that the facial-covering requirements will remain in effect in the city’s educational facilities.

The CPS mask mandate, part of an agreement reached between city officials and the Chicago Teachers Union earlier this year, will remain in effect for the time-being, according to a letter sent to parents on Sunday.

“To ensure the continued safety of our students and staff, CPS will continue to require universal masking in our schools and offices for now,” CPS CEO Pedro Martinez said.

Read more here.

COVID by the Numbers: What Happened Last Time Illinois Removed Its Mask Mandate?

On Monday, the state of Illinois will move forward with a plan to remove its indoor mask mandate, meaning that businesses will be able to decide whether or not to require customers to wear facial coverings.

The decision is a significant one, as it’s been nearly six months to the day since Illinois brought back its mask mandate in Aug. 2021 in response to the delta variant surge.

Previously, the state had lasted just over three months with a modified or eliminated mask mandate, having removed the requirement for facial coverings for vaccinated individuals in May 2021 and fully repealing all COVID mitigations in June 2021.

Read more here.

Are Masks Still Required in Schools? What to Know About CDC Guidance, Illinois' Mask Mandate

Are masks still required in school settings throughout the Chicago area and in Illinois?

New guidance released Friday from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still advised people, including schoolchildren, to wear masks where the risk of COVID is high.

That's the situation in about 37% of U.S. counties, where about 28% of Americans live.

In response to the new guidance, Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced Friday that the state of Illinois will remove the school mask mandate, effective Monday, noting that the face covering requirement is only needed in areas of "high transmission" per federal officials.

Read more here.

Some Americans Welcome New CDC Mask Guidance, Others Wary

Many Americans, including parents of school children, have been clamoring for an end to masking while others remain wary that the pandemic could throw a new curveball.

Now, states, cities and school districts are assessing Friday's guidance to determine whether it’s safe to stop mask-wearing — long after others threw out such mandates and many Americans ignored them.

Read more here.

CDC: Many Healthy Americans Can Take a Break From Masks

Most Americans live in places where healthy people, including students in schools, can safely take a break from wearing masks under new U.S. guidelines released Friday.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention outlined the new set of measures for communities where COVID-19 is easing its grip, with less of a focus on positive test results and more on what’s happening at hospitals.

The new system greatly changes the look of the CDC's risk map and puts more than 70% of the U.S. population in counties where the coronavirus is posing a low or medium threat to hospitals. Those are the people who can stop wearing masks, the agency said.

Read more here.

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