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Chicago to require indoor masks for all as COVID cases surge

(AP) — Chicago will require masks in all public indoor settings regardless of vaccination status as the number of COVID-19 cases rise, the city’s top doctor announced Tuesday.

The mandate, which takes effect Friday for everyone over age 2, is similar to rules in place for much of last year. It will apply to gyms, stores, common areas of apartment buildings and in restaurants, though people will be allowed to remove face coverings while eating and drinking. Masks are already required in schools under Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s statewide order.

Chicago is reporting more than 400 cases of COVID-19, a threshold health officials say signals a higher transmission risk. However, the count is far lower than a winter peak of more than 3,000 daily cases, according to Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady.

She said no further restrictions or closures were planned.

“Our goal is to remain open but careful,” Arwady said at a news conference. “In terms of where we’ve been, as a city, it is not a cause for alarm. It is a cause for caution.”

Currently, Chicago is averaging 18 COVID-19-related hospitalizations a day, which is down from a peak of roughly 200 a day, Arwady said.

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Source: The Daily Chronicle

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