Illinois to Lift School Mask Mandate Monday, Pritzker Says

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker previously announced Illinois would end its mask mandate Monday, but said it didn't apply to school requirements

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Illinois will end its requirement of face masks in schools Monday, Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced Friday after the Illinois Supreme Court denied his appeal of a restraining order in a lawsuit challenging the mask mandate.

In a statement, Pritzker explained Illinois will move forward to remove its school mask mandate after the Centers for Disease Control updated guidance to recommend masks only in areas of high COVID-19 transmission.

Last week, the governor and Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul said the state will ask the Illinois Supreme Court to review an appellate court decision making masks optional in school settings, noting the ruling failed "to address important legal issues."

On Feb. 4, a Sangamon County judge issued a temporary restraining order that blocked the state from enforcing the rules that called for mask mandates and other COVID restrictions in schools.

While the state appealed the judge’s temporary restraining order, the rules expired on Feb. 13.

Illinois will lift the indoor mask requirement, with several exceptions, by Feb. 28, Pritzker announced earlier this month, but noted at the time the eased mandate wouldn't apply to school settings.

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