Pritzker says Illinois mask mandate to stay in place amid rising COVID numbers

In light of the Omicron variant and increasing COVID-19 numbers, Governor JB Pritzker says Illinois’ mask mandate is staying in place for now.

"We have an indoor mask requirement in the state of Illinois and we're not lifting that, especially not now," Pritzker said.

As of Thursday, COVID metrics continued to surge across Illinois with over 11,500 cases reported in the last 24 hours. That’s an increase from just over 6,000 the day before.

According to a Chicago Tribune analysis, the surge is predominantly being felt by the unvaccinated.


Meanwhile, Cook County health officials are urging the unvaccinated population to stay home for the holidays this month.

Earlier this week, Chicago's top doctor Dr. Allison Arwady continued to urge residents to get vaccinated or get their booster shot. She also said a new variant is not unexpected.