The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) says it's in full support of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's new mask recommendations.
The CDC said Tuesday that it was now recommending masks for everyone in indoor settings, even for those who are fully vaccinated.
That recommendation also covers schools, where the CDC is now recommending masks for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors, regardless of vaccination status.
Illinois' state health department was quick to align itself with the new recommendations, citing concerns over the quick-spreading Delta variant.
“While data continues to show the effectiveness of the three COVID-19 vaccines currently authorized in the U.S., including against the Delta variant, we are still seeing the virus rapidly spread among the unvaccinated,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike. “Cases and hospitalizations due to COVID-19 both continue to increase, overwhelmingly among the unvaccinated, but the risk is greater for everyone if we do not stop the ongoing spread of the virus and the Delta variant. We know masking can help prevent transmission of COVID-19 and its variants. Until more people are vaccinated, we join CDC in recommending everyone, regardless of vaccination status, wear a mask indoors in areas of substantial and high transmissions, and in K-12 schools.”
The CDC's new guidance comes after most Tri-State schools had already announced a full return to in-person learning with masks optional for the upcoming school year.
Despite the state health department's support of the new CDC masks recommendations, the final choice remains up to local leaders.
You can see IDPH's full statement on the matter here.