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Mask Requirement Being ‘Seriously’ Considered In Illinois, Pritzker Says

"Anything we can do going forward that will protect people and, at the same time, make it more likely that we can have slightly different conditions for stay at home — better conditions — is a good move."

Dana Giles wears a mask and poses for a photo in Humboldt Park as temperatures reached 80 degrees Fahrenheit in parts of Chicago while cases of Coronavirus in Illinois continue to rise on Tuesday, April 7, 2020.
Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
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CHICAGO — Illinois could start requiring people to wear masks outside their homes as officials look for ways to stop the spread of coronavirus here.

Gov. JB Pritzker has previously recommended everyone wear masks — but at a Wednesday press conference he said he’s considering making it a requirement for people when they’re out in public.

“I think it’s something that, when I look at the mitigation measures that we should be contemplating and making adjustments to, that is one I think might be seriously important to consider in the period going forward,” Pritzker said. “Anything we can do going forward that will protect people and, at the same time, make it more likely that we can have slightly different conditions for stay at home — better conditions — is a good move.”

Pritzker’s comments hinted the requirement could be put in place as the state eases up on its stay at home order. That order is set to expire at the end of April, though it could be extended.

Still, Pritzker said people wearing a mask needs to continue practicing social distancing.

“Having the mask on is an additional protection,” he said, adding masks protect others.

The remarks come on the same day as New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced all people in that state must now wear masks when they’re not able to practice social distancing, including on crowded sidewalks and in stores.

As of Wednesday afternoon, Illinois has seen 24,593 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 948 deaths.

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