Friday, August 27, 2021

New Masking Mandates and Vaccination Requirements for Illinois

On Thursday, August 26, Governor J.B. Pritzker issued a press release detailing new masking mandates for indoor activities throughout the State of Illinois and vaccination requirements for healthcare and education employees and higher education students. In addition, Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike noted that many COVID-19 hospitalizations, cases, and deaths have resulted from unvaccinated individuals. Below is a summary of the mitigation measures the State of Illinois will roll out to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Masking Requirements

Starting on Monday, August 30, all Illinois residents over two years old must wear a mask indoors. This requirement does not extend the wearing of masks outdoors, but it is advised that public members in large outdoor crowds wear a mask. This announcement applies to all members of the public—regardless of vaccination status.

Employers can find guidance on face coverings in the workplace by visiting the IDPH website here.

COVID-19 Vaccination Requirements

As the Delta variant continues to rise throughout the state, certain employees and other members of the public in “high-risk settings”, will be required to obtain a vaccination. As of now, the press release states that private and public healthcare workers, workers in long-term care facilities, teachers and staff in pre-k-12 schools, and higher education personnel and students must obtain a vaccination. Applicable workers, personnel, and students must receive their first dose of a two-dose vaccination or one dose of a single-dose vaccination no later than September 5, 2021.

Further, any applicable worker or student that does not obtain a vaccine due to a medical or religious reason must follow a routine testing schedule to detect outbreaks of COVID-19. Those workers and students who do not provide vaccination proof may not enter healthcare or educational facilities unless they follow a required testing protocol.

Non-healthcare or educational employers looking to implement a vaccination requirement should contact an Ancel Glink, P.C. attorney for specific guidance.