Ezike: Mask mandate likely to stay through Thanksgiving, with Illinois COVID-19 hospitalizations on the rise

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Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike speaks during a press conference on the coronavirus in Chicago, Illinois, on January 30, 2020. – Dr. Ezike announced the first case of a person catching the virus from another person on American soil. The World Health Organization declared a global emergency over the new coronavirus, as China reported on January 31 that the death toll had climbed to 213 with nearly 10,000 infections. (Photo by DEREK HENKLE / AFP) (Photo by DEREK HENKLE/AFP via Getty Images)

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WTVO) — Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike says a spike in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations is working against Gov. JB Pritkzer’s hope of lifting the indoor mask mandate ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday.

According to WGEM, Ezike said it would be inappropriate to consider removing the indoor mask mandate, with hospitalizations on the rise.

“As we’ve moved indoors, we haven’t maybe taken our masks indoors with us. So a lot of unmasked indoor gatherings are likely part of the problem,” Ezike told the outlet. “Of course, COVID is so complicated. It’s been throwing us curveball after curveball.”

On Monday, the IDPH reported 2,060 new cases, with 1,300 people hospitalized with coronavirus complications statewide.

Illinois is averaging 25 deaths per day from COVID-19.

We’d like to do everything we can (by) vaccinating, getting boosted, wearing our masks, you know encouraging other people to get vaccinated. All of that will help decrease these horrible statistics that we keep reporting and watching every day,” Ezike said.

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