JB Pritzker

Pritzker to Revise Orders on Mask-Wearing After New CDC Guidance Released

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Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker says that he will revise executive orders to sync up with new CDC guidelines on mask wearing by vaccinated individuals in indoor and outdoor spaces.

The new guidelines, released Thursday, say that masks are no longer recommended for individuals who are fully vaccinated against coronavirus, paving the way for a return to normalcy as summer nears.

“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.”

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.

The guidance still advises individuals to wear masks in crowded indoor settings like buses, planes, hospitals, prisons and homeless shelters.

Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the director of the CDC, cited evidence and the efficacy of the COVID vaccine, along with decreasing COVID case numbers, as main reasons for the change.

“If you are fully vaccinated, you can start doing the things that you had stopped doing because of the pandemic,” she said.

Individuals with compromised immune systems should consult with physicians before removing their masks, and individuals may be required to continue wearing them in certain instances, including at private businesses.

Pritzker’s administration has said it would continue to follow CDC guidance on mask-wearing, even as the state prepares to move into a so-called “Bridge Phase” in its COVID reopening plans. In that phase, capacity at outdoor events will increase dramatically, with Cubs and White Sox games now permitting up to 60% capacity.

If numbers continue to decline, Pritzker says the state could move to Phase Five, a full removal of all remaining COVID mitigations, by June 11.

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