Gov. J.B. Pritzker is expected to announce an indoor mask mandate, regardless of a person’s vaccination status, on Thursday for all of Illinois.
According to ABC7 Chicago, who cited sources, Pritzker will make the announcement Thursday. It is unclear when the mandate will go into effect.
The mandate will apply to anyone ages 2 or older and applies to even those who have been vaccinated against COVID-19, ABC7 reported.
The mandate will apply to all indoor environments, including gyms, restaurants, health clubs, bars, and other establishments. Additional details will be released Thursday by Pritzker.
ABC7 also reported that the governor will announce a vaccine mandate for all kindergarten through college employees statewide. Education employees who refuse to get the vaccine will have to submit to weekly testing.
On Tuesday, Pritzker warned that “significantly greater mitigations” could be imposed if COVID metrics don’t improve in the state.
“If we are not able to bring these numbers down, if hospitals continue to fill, if the hospital beds and ICUs get full like they are in Kentucky — that’s just next door to Illinois — if that happens, we’re going to have to impose significantly greater mitigations,” Pritzker said during a Tuesday press conference.
“I want to remind you we’ve already implemented a number of significant mitigations and we’re always looking if we need to impose more,” Pritzker added.
Since August 18, Region 9, which includes Lake and McHenry counties, has dipped below a 20% threshold set by the state for available ICU beds.
The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has also reported eight days of increases in COVID-19 patients that have been hospitalized in the region.
Between Lake and McHenry counties, there are currently 108 patients with COVID-19 in the hospital.
Region 9, however, is still below the 8% threshold for test positivity.
The test positivity, ICU bed availability and COVID patients in the hospital are metrics used by IDPH and the governor to “identify early but significant increase of COVID-19 transmission in Illinois.”
“These indicators can be used to determine whether additional community mitigation interventions are needed for a region to control the further spread of COVID-19,” IDPH says.
Every county in Illinois, except Carroll County, is experiencing “high transmission” for COVID-19, according to the CDC.