CHICAGO — Gov. J.B. Pritzker of Illinois introduced on Thursday a brand new, stricter set of coronavirus restrictions, ordering a statewide indoor masks mandate and requiring that every one educators be vaccinated or face common testing.
The masks mandate applies to all Illinois residents age 2 and older and begins on Monday. The vaccine rule, efficient Sept. 5, impacts all lecturers and workers in faculties from kindergarten by way of school.
“Sadly, we’re working out of time as our hospitals run out of beds,” Mr. Pritzker stated at a information convention on Thursday. “Hospital workers have gotten overwhelmed and overburdened. Persons are dying who don’t must die.”
Mr. Pritzker, a Democrat, has taken an aggressive strategy to restrictions meant to sluggish the unfold of the coronavirus, which has spiked in Illinois in current weeks, notably within the downstate area, the place intensive-care beds are scarce. Illinois reported a seven-day common of three,547 circumstances on Wednesday, greater than 3 times the typical circumstances reported one month in the past.
Earlier this month, Mr. Pritzker issued a masks mandate for college kids, school and workers in preschools, elementary and excessive faculties all through the state. He has additionally mandated masks in state-run nursing houses and comparable services, and required vaccinations of people that work there. The Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention has advisable masking for everybody in faculties, no matter vaccination standing, and several other states, together with California and Connecticut, have faculty masks mandates in place.
Underneath the brand new vaccine rule in Illinois, educators who decline to be vaccinated can be required to undergo testing at the very least as soon as every week.
The transfer comes as different states and cities weigh vaccine mandates after the Meals and Drug Administration this week granted full approval to Pfizer-BioNTech’s coronavirus vaccine for folks 16 and older, making it the primary to maneuver past emergency-use standing in the US.
Earlier this week, Gov. Philip D. Murphy of New Jersey stated that every one lecturers in that state must both be vaccinated or undergo weekly testing. California and Hawaii have comparable mandates in place. And the cities of Los Angeles and Chicago, in addition to Washington State and Oregon, have additionally just lately introduced full vaccine mandates for lecturers.
On Wednesday, Mayor Lori Lightfoot of Chicago stated she would require all metropolis staff, together with law enforcement officials, sanitation staff and park staff, to be absolutely vaccinated by Oct. 15. Chicago and Prepare dinner County have already got indoor masks mandates in place.