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Illinois’ Mask Mandate Is Back After Weekend Where 10,000 COVID Cases, 38 Deaths Reported

Officials hope to slow down the latest wave of coronavirus cases by getting people vaccinated and requiring masks when indoors in public.

A person receives a COVID-19 vaccine at the mass vaccination site in the Jones Convocation Center on the campus of Chicago State University on April 7, 2021.
Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
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CHICAGO — Illinois’ mask mandate returned Monday — just as the state reported more than 10,000 coronavirus cases since Friday.

Chicago’s own mask mandate returned last week, but the statewide requirement didn’t kick in until Monday. Everyone 2 and older in Illinois is now required to wear a mask when indoors in public.

Officials hope the requirement will help slow the latest surge of COVID-19 cases, which has been fueled by the highly contagious Delta variant. All of Illinois has seen a significant spike in the number of people getting sick, with hospitalizations and deaths rising.

The city and state requirements cover almost all indoor public spaces, including schools, health care facilities, shops, gyms and common areas in apartment and condo buildings. They apply even to people who are fully vaccinated.

Gov. JB Pritzker has warned Illinois needs to slow down the number of people getting sick or it risks overwhelming its hospitals, especially those in central and southern Illinois.

About 97 percent of Illinois’ cases since January have been among unvaccinated people, Pritzker said Thursday. Also, 96 percent of people hospitalized with COVID-19 were unvaccinated, and 95 percent of people who have died from COVID-19 were not vaccinated.

Dr. Ngozi Ezike, head of the Illinois Department of Public Health, said wearing a mask and getting shots could protect individuals and their communities.

“Wearing a mask continues to be one of the simplest, cheapest ways to reduce the spread of COVID-19,” Ezike said. “The bottom line is masks are effective. Vaccines are effective.

“But until more people are vaccinated, we need to take the steps to protect our health care workers, protect our hospital resources and protect our most vulnerable” people.

Vaccinations:

• In Illinois, about 6.7 million people — or 53.19 percent of the state’s 12.7 million people — have gotten all their COVID-19 vaccine shots, according to state data.

• Across the state, 25,516 vaccine doses are being administered per day, based on a seven-day rolling average.

• Illinois and Chicago have administered at least 13,991,927 vaccine doses of the 16,215,515 provided to them.

• City data shows more than 1.49 million Chicagoans — or 55.4 percent of all residents — are fully vaccinated. About 60.9 percent of all Chicagoans have gotten at least one shot.

COVID-19 vaccinations are free and do not require insurance. Anyone can call the city’s coronavirus hotline at 312-746-4835 to get more information on how and where to get vaccinated in their community.

The numbers:

• Thirty-eight Illinoisans were reported dead from COVID-19 since Friday.

• At least 23,927 people have died from COVID-19 in Illinois, and another 2,545 deaths are probably related to the virus, according to the state.

• The state reported 10,066 cases since Friday. That brings the total number of confirmed cases in Illinois up to 1,518,071.

• Since Friday, 207,276 tests were reported statewide. In all, 28,775,581 tests have been reported in Illinois.

• Illinois’ seven-day positivity rate was at 5.2 percent. The figure represents the percentage of people testing positive among recent tests. It was at 5.2 percent Friday.

• Illinois’ seven-day test positivity rate, which measures the percentage of tests that were positive, was at 5.7 percent. It was at 5.7 percent Friday.

• As of Sunday night, 517 people with COVID-19 were in the ICU and 272 people with COVID-19 were using ventilators in Illinois.

• In Chicago, two deaths were reported since Friday. There have been at least 5,614 deaths from COVID-19 in Chicago. The city is seeing an average of more than three deaths per day, a 13 percent decrease from the week prior.

• Chicago has had 1,395 confirmed cases reported since Friday. It’s had a total of 303,091 confirmed cases. An average of 445 confirmed cases are being reported per day, an 8 percent decrease from the week prior.

• At the same time, testing has increased 2 percent since a week ago.

• Chicago’s positivity rate was at 4.3 percent, down from 4.7 percent the week prior.

Block Club Chicago’s coronavirus coverage is free for all readers. Block Club is an independent, 501(c)(3), journalist-run newsroom.

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