Pritkzer defends keeping Illinois’ indoor mask mandate in place

Local News

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WTVO) — With cases of coronavirus still climbing across Illinois, Gov. JB Pritzker defended his mask mandate on Friday.

In the past week, the Illinois Department of Public Health says 22,600 new cases were confirmed, a 29% jump over the prior week.

Rockford hospitals have seen COVID-19 hospitalizations increase for the second straight week, with 92 patients being treated for coronavirus this week, up from 65 last week.

Pritzker has said hospitalizations would play a key role in his decision on when some COVID-19 mandates could be dropped.

“When you’re outdoors, you make the choice yourself. But, look at what [the indoor mandate] done for us. We’re in the top 20% of states in terms of keeping people healthy now. You know, there are 40 states that are doing worse than we are, in terms of hospitalizations and cases and deaths and, so, we’re trying to keep our people safe,” Pritzker said.

The governor issued the indoor mask mandate in August in response to a rising wave of Delta variant infections. Since that time, more people have been vaccinated, boosters have become available, and anti-viral medications are advancing.

Illinois is one of only six states that require people to wear a mask indoors.

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