(The Center Square) – Gov. J.B. Pritzker said he won’t provide a specific date for when he’ll lift the statewide indoor mask mandate in Illinois.
Pritzker was asked Tuesday about a possible sunset date for the statewide mandate, but the governor declined. The governors of New York and California have set end dates to their mask mandates. Pritzker said Illinoians will continue to follow the science.
“I just want to encourage everyone to keep doing the right thing, we are in Illinois and we are going to keep doing it. Following the science, I might add.” Pritzker said.
Pritzker said masks help keep people safe amid an increase in cases and hospitalizations.
“We can’t set an end to this mask mandate because we need to keep people safe,” the governor said. “We need to stop pretending masks don’t work because they do.”
State Rep. Adam Niemerg, a Republican, has been against the continuance of the mask mandate and said that other options should be considered.
“As usual, the Governors’s only answer is to shut down businesses, mask our children, vaccination, vaccination,” Niemerg said. “We need to actually examine what we are doing, remove political theatre from these decisions and give Illinoisans a clear path to combatting this virus.”
Pritzker let an earlier mask mandate that was in place for more than a year expire in May, but then reissued a mandate in July. The most recent mandate issued by executive order in August was reissued on Friday, which the Illinois Department of Public Health said expires Jan. 8.