Will mask mandates end by the holidays?

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA) — “We’d like very much to get to a place where we can remove certain mask mandates,” Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker said.

A lot of people are looking forward to that day. The Governor says his goal is to get rid of masks in time for the holidays. Masks have become a common sight during the pandemic, but as the positivity rate starts to decline, people are starting to wonder when they will be able to put them away.

In May, the mask mandate was lifted for vaccinated people. Then masks had to be put back on in August. Now, the vaccination rate is higher than in May and the positivity rate is lower, but masks are still being worn.

Masks have been a sign of the pandemic and while not everyone follows it, Illinois has had a mask mandate for most of 2020 and 2021. There was a brief stint this past summer where people were able to free their face as the positivity rate dropped.

“On June 11th we’re going to have a complete reopening of Phase 5 in Illinois, which I think is a moment to rejoice at,” Governor Pritzker said.

On May 17, 2021, Governor Pritzker said vaccinated people did not have to wear masks indoors or outdoors. The positivity rate then was around 2.8%. On June 11, 2021 the state had reached Phase 5 and was completely re-opened. The positivity rate was at 1.3%. Some were happy to get rid of the masks and to this day don’t want to wear them.

“I think its okay if you want to, but I really don’t think its necessary at this point,” John Scott, Mahomet resident, said.

Health experts in Illinois disagree and say they do work. As the summer passed, the Delta Variant came into play and positivity rates started increasing peaking in August at 6.2%. Later that month, on August 30, 2021, Governor Pritzker reinforced the mask mandate. The positivity rate was at 5.7% and some people didn’t mind putting on their face coverings.

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