File Photo (Lake County Courthouse) | Photo: Google Street View.

County officials have announced that face coverings will be required again in all Lake County government buildings starting on Monday as COVID-19 cases rise in the state.

The requirement will be for both vaccinated and unvaccinated people, according to Alex Carr, Interim Chief Communications Officer for Lake County.

Carr said the mandate comes after the federal government and the State of Illinois began requiring masks again in their government buildings.

The public is encouraged to use the Lake County website to conduct business digitally and attend board and committee meetings virtually, Carr said.

The COVID-19 Delta variant, which is shown to be more contagious than other variants, accounts for approximately 80% of the cases in Illinois, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data.

The CDC said on Friday that new evidence suggests a small number of fully vaccinated people who become infected with the Delta variant may be able to infect others.

On Tuesday, the CDC updated their masking recommendations to say that everyone, including fully vaccinated individuals, should wear a mask in public indoor settings in areas with “substantial” and “high” transmission.

Areas of “substantial” transmission are considered by CDC to be those with 50 to 99 cases per 100,000 people over a seven-day period.

Areas of “high” transmission are considered to be those with more than 100 cases per 100,000 people over a seven-day period.

On Wednesday, the CDC’s COVID-19 Integrated County View dashboard switched McHenry County from “moderate” transmission to “substantial” transmission after the county reached nearly 52 cases per 100,000 residents in its seven-day average.

Lake County is still in the “moderate” community spread category, which is one level below the “substantial” category.

The CDC is also recommending universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students and visitors to K-12 schools regardless of vaccination status.