Chicago reinstates indoor mask mandate due to rising COVID-19 cases; adds 8 states to travel advisory


CHICAGO — Citing a rise in COVID-19 cases due to the Delta variant, Chicago is issuing an indoor mask mandate for residents regardless of vaccination status.

All individuals aged 2 and over will be required to wear a mask as of Friday while indoors in public settings.

It comes after the city aligned with the CDC last month by recommending masks for those in “areas with substantial and high transmission.”

Additionally, the Chicago Department of Health added eight states and Washington D.C. to the travel advisory. They are Minnesota, New Jersey, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Virginia, and West Virginia.

It now stands at 39 states and three territories. Any unvaccinated people traveling from these states and territories are advised to obtain a negative COVID-19 test result no more than 72 hours prior to arrival in Chicago or quarantine for a 10-day period upon arrival.

Vaccinated individuals do not need to quarantine or receive a negative test. All travelers must still adhere to federal masking rules.

“With the highly transmissible Delta variant causing case rates to increase, now is the time to re-institute this measure to prevent further spread and save lives,” said Dr. Arwady. “We continue to track the data closely and are hopeful this will only be temporary and we can bend the COVID curve, as we’ve done in the past.”

Since the end of June, cases have exponentially grown in the state with the rise of the Delta variant in the U.S.

On Tuesday, 3,639 new cases were announced along with 17 additional deaths. The current test positivity rate in the state is 6.2%.

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