Indoor mask mandate goes into effect across Cook County
LA GRANGE, Ill. - The indoor mask mandate went into effect Monday in Cook County.
Everyone over the age of 2 is required to wear a mask inside public places such as stores, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, fitness centers and lobbies of multi-unit residential buildings.
The mandate requires businesses to post signs to inform customers to wear a mask inside. Cook County officials say the Delta variant is spreading, representing 90 percent of recent cases.
Hospitalizations are rising, too.
All of this creates a situation where county health officials say they have no choice but to issue a mask order, to stop the spread of COVID-19.
"Masks, while they're an irritant, I think most people believe they work," said Burr Ridge Mayor Gary Grasso. "I believe they work."
He supports the county-wide mask mandate, but said he would resist another business shutdown.
"What I don't want to get to is closing down businesses," he said. "We cannot do that, we certainly can't do that in Burr Ridge."
There have been breakthrough cases of people testing positive for coronavirus, even though they are vaccinated. Unvaccinated people are the majority of new cases, so health officials are urging them to get the shots.
In west suburban La Grange, residents are willing to comply but were unaware that the new mandate took effect.
The mask mandate started in Chicago last Friday.