At his COVID-19 Press Briefing today, Governor Pritzker announced that beginning May 1, everyone in the State of Illinois will be required to wear a face covering to combat the spread of the COVID-19 virus when in public and unable to observe social distancing guidelines. This decision is based on guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH).
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) now recommend wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, such as grocery stores and pharmacies. In addition to practicing social distancing, cloth face coverings help slow the spread of COVID-19 and help stop those who may unknowingly have the virus from transmitting it to others. The most effective measures for preventing further spread of COVID-19, however, remain staying at home when sick, maintaining physical separation between other people while out in public (at least six feet) and frequently washing hands with either soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub.
Individuals should wear a mask or face covering when they must leave their home and it is impractical to maintain six feet of physical distance between themselves and others. The covering can be a scarf, a bandana, or a mask you make at home. It should have multiple layers of fabric and should be opaque (not show light) when held up to a light source.
Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth when removing the mask. Make sure to wash your hands immediately after removing it. Clean the mask frequently by using a washing machine.
Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age two, anyone who has trouble breathing or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
Cloth face coverings should:
- fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
- be secure
- include multiple layers of fabric
- allow for breathing without restriction
- be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape