Well, the drama of school boards deciding whether to mask or not mask appears to be over.
At a briefing today, Governor J.B. Pritzker today announced a face mask mandate inside public and private schools for all students, teachers, staff and visitors, regardless of vaccination status, to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Scolding those school districts that have decided against adopting the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention updated guidance on school masks, the governor insisted that the mandate was necessary due to the stagnant vaccination rates in Illinois and the increase in cases involving the so-called “delta variant.”
Children age 11 and younger are not eligible yet for COVID-19 vaccinations, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending universal masking in schools to prevent the spread of the deadly virus, as is the American Academy of Pediatrics.
While outdoor sports will be unaffected, the governor noted that face coverings will be required for all indoor sports activities until further notice.
He promised state assistance in the form of free masks to school districts to assist in complying with his mandate.
The governor also mandated vaccinations for all state employees who work with vulnerable citizens, such as residents of state-run nursing and veterans homes, effective October 4.
Finally, Pritzker announced that all long-term care facilities, whether public and private, must mandate full masking protocols regardless of vaccination status.