face masks

Pritzker ‘Thinking Hard' About Requiring Face Masks in Public in Illinois

While a mandate hasn't been issued statewide, at least 5 Chicago suburbs have required residents to wear masks

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Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Monday he has been "thinking hard" about requiring residents to wear face masks outside their homes — days after first saying he was considering the requirement.

Pritzker applauded grocery stores that are doing the "right thing" such as putting down floor markers to encourage people to be at least 6 feet apart. However, he said, the stores that aren't doing so have made him consider a statewide face mask requirement.

"If you're not wearing a mask and you're not keeping socially distant — those two things together lead to people getting sick," Pritzker said.

At least five Chicago suburbs — Northbrook, Niles, Highland Park, Wilmette and Morton Grove — have implemented measures requiring residents to wear face coverings in pubic.

If Pritzker decides on a statewide mandate, he said the requirement could be one of a number of changes included in a revised stay-at-home order.

Pritzker said he doesn't want to stop people from enjoying the outdoors and activities such as exercising in an open park. He said the possible requirement would be intended for when an individual is in a public place with other people nearby.

Although the governor has yet to make a decision, once again on Monday he advised residents to wear masks in public in hope of preventing the spread of the coronavirus.

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