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As state employees bring masks to work, Illinoisans think of the return of masks everywhere

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Illinois state employees went to work with a new mask requirement in place Friday. Although, some are now thinking about the possibility of everyone in Illinois having to wear masks again.

In June people celebrated as the state reopened in Phase 5. But now there’s some worry that masks will have to return. After all, no one said they could go away forever.

Almost all of the state employees we saw coming out of buildings Friday had their masks on hand for the first day with the office mitigations in place. Some said it just makes sense to keep people safe, vaccinated or not.

Others mentioned there’s no reason to not put the mask on since many people are contracting the delta variant that spreads quickly. A few of the state workers said they wouldn’t be surprised if Illinois ends up reinstating indoor mask guidance for everyone.

The Pritzker administration noted Thursday that they are considering new mitigations. How would you feel if everyone had to wear masks again?

“All we can do is hope to move forward positively and keep the good vibes going, especially with people who are wearing masks and aren’t wearing masks. Just keep it all positive and everything will be alright,” said Springfield resident Dwight Bolden.

He also said it may be hard to convince people to get back to wearing masks inside since so many people thought they wouldn’t have to worry about that after getting vaccinated. Still, Bolden said everyone can adjust to the CDC guidance.

“The CDC is just like any other agency just trying to do their job,” Bolden said. “It’s something new that’s happening so they’re learning as we’re learning. It’s a lot of trial and error.”

The Illinois Department of Public Health reported new COVID-19 cases increased by 46% over the past week. Hospitalizations also went up by 35%. Gov. JB Pritzker noted several times over the past month that the best option to stop the spread of COVID-19 is vaccinations.

Meanwhile, anyone planning on visiting the Capitol or a Secretary of State’s office should keep a mask ready. All employees and customers will need to wear face coverings starting Monday.

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Mike Miletich

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