Illinois sticks to controversial mandates

by Cade Slaughter / November 17, 2021

For most people, gathering with our peers and relatives has been occurring since the beginning of the pandemic. However, many top health officials do not visualize it in that sense.

Dr. Ngozi O. Ezike, speaking during a press conference

Illinois’ top health official Dr. Ngozi Ezike acknowledged “lots of unmasked indoor gatherings” are likely causing an increase in new COVID-19 cases, despite one’s vaccination record. Due to these measures, the state’s mask mandate will remain in place regardless of one’s vaccination status the state worked tirelessly to enforce.

“As we’ve moved indoors, we haven’t maybe taken our masks indoors with us. So a lot of unmasked indoor gatherings are likely part of the problem,” Ezike said. “Of course, COVID is so complicated. It’s been throwing us curveball after curveball.”

Ezike has stated the ‘inappropriateness’ of considering maskless holidays with one’s family, regardless of status. In fact, Illinois is one of the lone six states within the United States that still has a mask mandate in place for all of its residents, regardless of one’s vaccination records.

A photograph from the Illinois Department of Public Health, Aug. 30, 2021

“I want them [mitigations] to go away too. But we want to make sure we are keeping people healthy and safe following the guidelines doctors are offering for us. Obviously we want to remove the mitigations as we approach the holidays. It’s an important marker for us,” Pritzker said on October 19 during a press conference.

Illinois’ mask mandate will be kept in place until there is a further decline in hospitalizations, which Governor Pritzker said were “flat” at the time. The latest COVID-19 wave in Illinois peaked at the end of August and new cases, including hospitalizations, have began to decline for nearly two months, certain state health statistics shows.

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