coronavirus illinois

Suburban Cook County to Drop Mask, Proof-of-Vaccine Mandates Later This Month

The new guidance is in-step with the city of Chicago and the state of Illinois, according to officials

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Following the lead of the state of Illinois and city of Chicago, health officials in suburban Cook County say that they will drop their mask mandate and their proof-of-vaccination requirement at the end of the month.

According to an email from the Cook County Department of Public Health, those requirements will both end on Feb. 28, the same day that they are set to expire in the city of Chicago and in the state of Illinois.

“We are glad to be able to move with the rest of the state to lift these measures,” Dr. Rachel Rubin, CCDPH’s Senior Medical Officer, said in a statement. “We thank the residents for their cooperation, and the suburban Cook County business community for their support and compliance.”

Officials say they will still recommend that individuals wear masks in crowded indoor settings.

According to officials, masks will still be required in indoor settings controlled by CDC guidelines and state law, including health care settings, public transportation and congregate care facilities.

Proof of vaccination will no longer be required for indoor businesses, and proof of negative COVID tests will no longer be required for employees that were having to submit that proof to employers.

According to officials, the county’s positivity rate on COVID tests has dropped to 3%, and the county is averaging 285 new COVID cases per day, both far lower than what was observed during the peak of the omicron surge earlier this year.

Hospitalizations and ICU rates have both improved dramatically in recent weeks, according to officials.

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