Illinois will require masks indoors for everyone and educators must get shots or face testing.


CHICAGO — Gov. J.B. Pritzker of Illinois introduced on Thursday a brand new, stricter set of coronavirus restrictions, ordering a statewide indoor mask mandate and requiring that each one educators be vaccinated or face common testing.

The masks mandate applies to all Illinois residents age 2 and older and begins on Monday. The vaccine rule, efficient Sept. 5, impacts all academics and workers in faculties from kindergarten by way of school.

“Unfortunately, we are running out of time as our hospitals run out of beds,” Mr. Pritzker mentioned at a information convention on Thursday. “Hospital staff are becoming overwhelmed and overburdened. People are dying who don’t have to die.”

Mr. Pritzker, a Democrat, has taken an aggressive strategy to restrictions supposed to sluggish the unfold of the coronavirus, which has spiked in Illinois in latest weeks, notably within the downstate area, the place intensive-care beds are scarce. Illinois reported a seven-day common of three,547 instances on Wednesday, greater than thrice the typical instances reported one month in the past.

Earlier this month, Mr. Pritzker issued a masks mandate for college students, school and workers in preschools, elementary and excessive faculties all through the state. He has additionally mandated masks in state-run nursing properties and comparable amenities, and required vaccinations of people that work there. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has advisable masking for everyone in faculties, no matter vaccination standing, and a number of states, together with California and Connecticut, have faculty masks mandates in place.

Under the brand new vaccine rule in Illinois, educators who decline to be vaccinated will be required to undergo testing at the very least as soon as per week.

The transfer comes as different states and cities weigh vaccine mandates after the Food and Drug Administration this week granted full approval to Pfizer-BioNTech’s coronavirus vaccine for folks 16 and older, making it the primary to maneuver past emergency-use standing within the United States.

Earlier this week, Gov. Philip D. Murphy of New Jersey mentioned that all teachers in that state must both be vaccinated or undergo weekly testing. California and Hawaii have comparable mandates in place. And the cities of Los Angeles and Chicago, in addition to Washington State and Oregon, have additionally lately introduced full vaccine mandates for academics.

On Wednesday, Mayor Lori Lightfoot of Chicago said she would require all city employees, together with law enforcement officials, sanitation employees and park workers, to be totally vaccinated by Oct. 15. Chicago and Cook County have already got indoor masks mandates in place.



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