Will County announced both vaccinated and unvaccinated people will be required to wear a face mask or covering when entering any county buildings starting August 2.
Why are Masks Required?
This comes after the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) came out with updated guidance, recommending that face masks or coverings be worn inside for both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals in places with substantial COVID-19 community transmission. Will County is currently at a substantial level.
The press release reports that according to the CDC and the Will County Health Department, Will County is an area of substantial transmission with the number of positive cases reported increasing threefold since June 27, while vaccination numbers continue to lag.
Areas of substantial transmission are considered by CDC to be those with 50 to 99 cases per 100,000 people over a 7-day period. Areas of high transmission are considered to be those with more than 100 cases per 100,000 people over a 7-day period.
The community level of transmission can be found here.
“We are listening to our public health experts, and they are saying that Will County is experiencing a rapid rise in infections amongst the unvaccinated.” said County Executive Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant. “We know masking can help prevent transmission of COVID-19 and its variants. We will continue to follow IDPH and CDC recommendations to help protect our employees and the public. We encourage all individuals to get a vaccination to protect themselves, their loved ones and our fellow neighbors.”
In a separate press release, the Will County Health Department is asking residents to wear masks indoors in public settings, regardless of vaccination status.
DuPage County is also at a substantial transmission level.
Earlier this week the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) announced it is fully adopting the CDC’s recommendation.
Naperville News 17’s Aysha Ashely Househ reports.