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(AP Illustration / Peter Hamlin)

In places where the virus is surging, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that vaccinated people return to wearing masks in public indoor places.

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People wearing masks line up for a food drive in Brighton Park on Chicago’s Southwest Side on April 23, 2020. (WTTW News)

Echoing a masking announcement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Illinois health officials are recommending that everyone, regardless of vaccination status, wear masks indoors in school settings and in areas where COVID-19 is spreading.

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In this Friday, March 5, 2021 file photo, a restaurant worker holds his face mask in Biloxi, Miss. (AP Photo / Rogelio V. Solis)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention changed course Tuesday on some masking guidelines, recommending that even vaccinated people return to wearing masks indoors in parts of the U.S. where the delta variant of the coronavirus is fueling infection surges.

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(WTTW News)

Chicago Public Schools students and staff must continue wearing masks inside facilities and maintain 3 feet of social distancing where possible when in-person learning resumes at the end of August.

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FILE - In this March 2, 2021 file photo, a student plays the flute while wearing a protective face mask during a music class at the Sinaloa Middle School in Novato, Calif. (AP Photo / Haven Daily)

With COVID-19 cases soaring nationwide, school districts across the U.S. are yet again confronting the realities of a polarized country and the lingering pandemic as they navigate mask requirements, vaccine rules and social distancing requirements for the fast-approaching new school year.

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(WTTW News)

The more transmissible delta variant is expected to become the dominant coronavirus strain in the U.S., the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. And with half the U.S. still not fully vaccinated, doctors say it could cause a resurgence of COVID-19 in the fall.

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(WTTW News)

Amid a steep decline in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, Chicago officials will lift all restrictions on businesses and gatherings next Friday, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said. 

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People wearing masks line up for a food drive in Brighton Park on Chicago’s Southwest Side on April 23, 2020. (WTTW News)

Some local doctors say scrapping mask mandates is premature, and increases the risk of COVID-19 for essential workers, many of whom are Latino.

Plus: Our Spotlight Politics team takes a look at mixed mask messaging on “Chicago Tonight”

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In this Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021, file photo, a passenger wears a face mask she travels on a flight from Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta. (AP Photo / Charlie Riedel, File)

The government’s new guidance on masks for vaccinated people has left some Americans confused and sent businesses and states scrambling to adjust their rules. 

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(WTTW News)

Dr. Allison Arwady, commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health, talks about the city’s updated mask guidance and what’s now safe for people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

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(WTTW News)

Chicago officials lifted the city’s mask mandate for fully vaccinated residents on Tuesday, but the city’s top doctor said she “strongly advises” businesses to require their employees and patrons to wear face coverings until the city fully reopens.

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The CDC relaxes mask requirements for fully vaccinated people. But what about those who don’t want to give up masks? (WTTW News)

Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Monday lifted the state’s mask mandate for fully vaccinated residents. But not everyone is ready to follow the new guidance. We talk about the future of masks with Jocelyn Carter, director of clinical training at DePaul University.

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People wearing masks line up for a food drive in Brighton Park on Chicago’s Southwest Side on April 23, 2020. (WTTW News)

Following new CDC guidance, Gov. J.B. Pritzker lifted the state’s mask mandate for fully vaccinated residents on Monday. But Mayor Lori Lightfoot says she will continue to wear a mask, both indoors and outdoors, even though she is fully vaccinated. 

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In this Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020 file photo, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, speaks during an event in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo / Susan Walsh, File)

The head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Sunday defended the decision to ease mask-wearing guidance for fully vaccinated people, stressing that increasing political pressure had nothing to do with the abrupt shift in guidelines.

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FILE - In this May 13, 2021, file photo, although no longer required outside, a sign advises visitors to wear masks at the Denver Zoo in Denver. (AP Photo / David Zalubowski, File)

More than a dozen states quickly embraced new federal guidelines that say fully vaccinated Americans no longer need to wear masks indoors or out in most cases. But other states and cities and some major businesses hesitated amid doubts about whether the approach is safe or even workable.

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Runners enjoy Chicago’s lakefront trail. (WTTW News)

Chicago and Illinois officials said Thursday they will follow new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and jettison rules that require fully vaccinated people to wear masks indoors. However, masks are not “going away,” according to city health officials.