Starting Monday, everyone in suburban Cook County, regardless of vaccination status, will be required to wear a mask indoors, officials announced Friday.
The announcement comes as Cook County is experiencing high transmission of COVID-19, defined by state health officials as areas with more than 100 cases per 100,000 people over a seven-day period. In Cook County, the average seven-day case rate per 100,000 people is 120.01, according to state data.
“We are in a dangerous period, with the delta variant surging, during which we must return to previous remediation measures,” said Dr. Rachel Rubin, co-lead and senior medical officer of Cook County Department of Public Health. “We have no choice but to mandate that people wear masks indoors to help contain this spread of the virus.”
Cook County’s mandate requires individuals ages 2 and up who can medically tolerate a mask to wear one in multi-unit residential buildings and public places like restaurants, movie theaters, retail establishments, fitness clubs and on public transportation.
Masks may be removed at restaurants and bars while people are actively eating or drinking, as well as for certain activities that require their removal such as beard shaves or facials, according to officials.
Businesses will be required to post signage stating masks are required, according to county officials.
Earlier this week, Chicago officials announced they were reimposing an indoor mask mandate, which began Friday.