Chicago Coronavirus Mask Laws
With laws varying across regions and no strict federal policy, there can be some confusion over what is currently required in terms of the coronavirus. Each state has, to some extent, been left to come up with their own rules. The result has been a patchwork quilt of various regulations across regions, states, districts and cities.
One rule that varies is the requirement of facemasks. Are people required to wear facemasks in public in Chicago?
One place you can stay safe from the virus is inside a new car.
Yes, until further notice. As of May 1st, 2020, Illinoisans have been required to wear masks in stores and other locations where social distancing is not possible. In effect, masks are required in basically every public setting. They are required for entering any business or public indoor area. They are not needed in parks as long as social distancing of six feet or more is maintained.
The requirement of wearing masks is part of Governor J.B. Pritzker’s extension of the stay-at-home order. The order applies to all residents and businesses throughout the state, which, of course, includes Chicago.
What qualifies as a mask?
The definition of a mask that meets the requirements of the law is generously broad. It basically just needs to be a face covering, with the key requirement being that it covers both the nose and mouth. Face coverings for the general public can include bandanas, scarves or t-shirts. There are a variety of online resources and videos demonstrating DIY mask strategies, including how old shirts can be made into a mask without sewing.
According to the CDC, N95 respirators and surgical masks should be reserved for emergency workers.
Who is required to wear a mask?
All individuals over the age of 2 are required to wear a mask in public in Illinois, provided they’re not medically prohibited. That means that if you’re reading this, you’re most likely required to wear one in Illinois.
Why are masks required?
The goal of making facemasks required is to protect others. If you’re an asymptomatic carrier, the mask will limit the virus’s ability to be transmitted to other people.
How long will masks be required?
Masks will likely be required for the foreseeable future, not just in Illinois but in much of the world. Experts say the mask will likely be a required ingredient for life to go on with some semblance of normalcy until a vaccine or cure is developed. And a widely-available vaccine is probably at least a year away.