Chicago health officials recommend use of masks in public indoor settings

The Chicago Department of Public Health is recommending that everyone over the age of two, regardless of vaccination status, wear masks in public indoor settings. 

This new guidance comes after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said everyone in areas with "substantial and high transmission" of COVID-19 should wear masks to prevent the spread of the virus.

Based on Chicago's current local COVID-19 data, city health officials adopted the new guidance.

Masking will remain optional in outdoor settings. 

On Friday, Chicago surpassed 200 new COVID-19 cases per day, which moved the city into the CDC's "substantial" category of local transmission.

If more than 400 new cases are reported per day in the city, Chicago will move into the CDC's "high" transmission category. 

Chicago data is updated every weekday at

CPDH is recommending businesses, employers and event organizers require universal masking in public indoor settings, while masking outdoors will remain optional.

No changes will be made to the recommendations for social distancing. 


"We are taking this step to prevent further spread of the very contagious Delta variant and to protect public health," said Allison Arwady, M.D., Commissioner, Chicago Department of Public Health. "This isn’t forever, but it is necessary to help decrease the risk for all Chicagoans right now."

Chicago Public Schools has already announced universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students and visitors when schools reopen on August 30.

Masks also remain mandated for all on public transportation nationwide, including ride shares, and in many high-risk settings, like health care, Chicago health officials said. 

CDPH is strongly encouraging anyone age 12 and older who isn’t yet vaccinated to get vaccinated.

Chicago residents can call 312-746-4835 or visit for information on the COVID-19 vaccine.