Gov. J.B. Pritzker officially lifted his mask mandate for vaccinated Illinois residents on Monday, aligning with guidance issued last week by the CDC.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated their guidance Thursday, saying that fully vaccinated people can resume activities without wearing masks or physically distancing except where required by federal or state regulations.
The CDC said that it is safe for fully vaccinated people to go without a mask indoors and outdoors, including doing things like attending a full-capacity worship service or an indoor exercise class.
The only exceptions include that fully vaccinated people should still wear a mask while on public transit like busses, trains and planes, and while in a hospital or healthcare setting, the CDC said.
“Anyone who is fully vaccinated can participate in indoor and outdoor activities – large or small — without wearing a mask or physically distancing,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said.
“If you are fully vaccinated, you can start doing the things that you had stopped doing because of the pandemic,” Walensky said.
Pritzker said on social media Thursday afternoon that he would be revising his executive orders to make them in line with the CDC’s new guidelines.
“The scientists’ message is clear: if you are vaccinated, you can safely do much more,” Pritzker said.
On Monday, Pritzker said in a statement that he has since aligned Illinois’ policies with the CDC’s guidance.
“Getting vaccinated is the ultimate protection from COVID-19 and the quickest ticket back to normal life. With CDC saying fully vaccinated people can safely remove their masks in most settings, I’m pleased to follow the science & align Illinois’ policies with their guidance,” he said.
“I also support the choice of individuals and businesses to continue to mask out of an abundance of caution as this pandemic isn’t over yet,” Pritzker added.
The governor is issuing an updated executive order to remove the mask requirement for fully vaccinated people in most settings, and the Illinois Department of Public Health is rescinding emergency rules in the Control of Communicable Disease Code that enforces masking and distancing for vaccinated people in business settings.
The Illinois State Board of Education and Illinois Department of Public Health will still require masks in schools, and the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services will still require masks in daycare.
“While the updated guidance from the CDC is welcome news, let me remind everyone that this guidance is only for those people who are fully vaccinated,” Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said.
“Individuals who do not have the protection afforded by one of the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines should still wear a mask,” Ezike said.
Illinois and the United States continue to see COVID-19 cases and deaths drop as more people get vaccinated.
The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) said that more than 64% of adults in the state have received at least their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine as of Monday.
Over 10.4 million vaccine doses have been administered in the state in total.