Chicago’s top doctor says that despite the decision to end the city’s mask mandate for fully vaccinated residents, she will continue to wear her mask and encourages others, especially those who are not fully vaccinated, to do the same as Chicago transitions to a full reopening.
Dr. Allison Arwady, commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health, announced the city’s updated mask guidance Tuesday, less than a week after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that fully vaccinated people can stop wearing masks outdoors in crowds and in most indoor settings.
“I just remind folks that that CDC guidance applies to people who are fully vaccinated, two weeks post their second dose of vaccine if they’ve gotten the Pfizer or Moderna (vaccine), or two weeks post their Johnson & Johnson dose,” Arwady said Wednesday. “If you are not fully vaccinated you do need to continue wearing a mask.”
The new guidance means that people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 no longer need to wear masks in most settings. However, masks are still required — at least for the time being — in buildings owned by the city as well as in hospitals and other health care settings, schools and on public transit.
“We don’t have a vaccine passport or something obvious that says someone is vaccinated. We certainly are asking people if they are not (vaccinated) to do the right thing and wear the mask, but we know not everybody is likely to do that,” Arwady said. “We are in this transition phase. I would just encourage people to do the right thing. And if they have concerns themselves, again, for the short term, keep wearing that mask.”
Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who says she will continue wearing her mask for now, says the city is on track to fully reopen by July 4.