Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker today announced new mandates for health care workers in the state along with all educators from Kindergarten through college. Starting Monday August 30th all health care workers and educators will be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or submit to weekly testing.  The governor also says the new safety protocols will also include a fresh statewide mandate for masks to be worn indoors.

The mandates, which overlap in several places with existing rules, are a response to a spike in COVID-19 infections fueled by the highly contagious delta variant, particularly in southern and central Illinois.

The mask order applies to everyone age 2 and older, regardless of vaccination status. It's similar to an order issued in May 2020, which was later relaxed for vaccinated people. First doses of the vaccine are required by Sept. 5. Educators or health care workers who don't comply will have to undergo weekly COVID-19 testing.

Illinois already has a mask requirement for all schools and a large number of hospital systems have also already required employee vaccines.

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