Officials in at least three Chicago suburbs have issued an order requiring in some form that everyone wear masks in certain public spaces during the coronavirus pandemic.
Skokie Mayor George Van Dusen issued an order beginning Thursday that requires all individuals to wear face coverings “while working at or patronizing a business open to the public.”
The emergency directive includes grocery stores, restaurants, hardware stores, financial institutions, pharmacies, group homes and more. Workers who are delivering food or products to people’s homes in Skokie will also be required to wear facial protection.
Skokie residents wanting to walk, run, or bike outdoors will not need to wear masks, per the order, but must maintain physical distancing of six feet during the activity. Masks will also not be required while riding in a personal vehicle.
Cicero town President Larry Dominick issued a similar executive order Wednesday, requiring all employees and customers at grocery stores, pharmacies, drug stores, convenience stores and gas stations to wear face coverings.
"Failure to comply will result in a citation and a fine," the order states.
Meanwhile, in north suburban Glenview, Village President Jim Patterson signed an order to wear masks that took effect Sunday.
Everyone over the age of 5 is "required to cover their nose and mouth with a covering while working at or patronizing an essential business open to the public and when using public transportation," officials said.
Under the Glenview order, masks are not required during allowed outdoor activity while practicing social distancing, while riding in a vehicle, when drinking or eating,when alone or with household members in a separate single space and when doing so poses a health or safety risk.
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Wednesday that implementing a requirement to wear masks statewide "might be seriously important for us to consider."
Pritzker, along with other state and federal officials across the country, have already recommended face coverings for people who have to leave their homes, particularly to go to places like grocery stores.
"I think it's a something that when I look at the mitigation measures that we should be contemplating and making adjustments to, that is one that I think might be seriously important for us to consider, you know, in the period going forward," Pritzker said.
"Look, anything that we can do going forward, that will protect people and at the same time make it more likely that we can have slightly, you know, different conditions for stay-at-home, better conditions, is a good move," he added.
Pritzker noted that masks are not a substitute for social distancing, however, and such guidelines still need to be followed.
"Let me be clear, wearing a mask is protecting everybody else," he said. "So you're doing everybody else a favor or you know, you're doing the right thing for everybody else in your presence by wearing one. By not wearing one when you're in public, going into a public place or anything like that, you know, it's something you aren't doing to protect other people."
In Chicago, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said she doesn't plan on requiring masks, saying, "I think what people need to do is obviously what makes them comfortable."
"I think the guidance that we've given is the right guidance, which is if you cannot social distance comfortable, or if you otherwise feel like you need to wear some kind of face covering and people are doing that," she said.
Per CDC guidelines, cloth masks should fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face, be secured with ties or ear loops, include multiple layers of fabric, allow for breathing without restriction and be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage.