IDPH Aligns with CDC Indoor Masking Recommendation

IDPH Aligns with CDC Indoor Masking Recommendation
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The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) announced it is fully adopting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) indoor masking recommendation that came out today. According to the CDC, “Delta variant [is] spreading twice as easily from person to person as previous strains.”

Masks Inside Public Settings

That’s why the CDC is recommending that everyone, including fully vaccinated people, wear a mask in public indoor settings with substantial and high transmission.

Areas of substantial transmission are considered by CDC to be those with 50 to 99 cases per 100,000 people over a seven-day period. Areas of high transmission are considered to be those with more than 100 cases per 100,000 people over a seven-day period.

According to the CDC website, DuPage County is currently at a moderate level, while Will County is substantial. The Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce sent a note to its members that said, “Currently, Will County is at the ‘substantial’ level which means businesses in Will County do need to follow these updated guidelines.”

“While data continues to show the effectiveness of the three COVID-19 vaccines currently authorized in the U.S., including against the Delta variant, we are still seeing the virus rapidly spread among the unvaccinated,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike. “Cases and hospitalizations due to COVID-19 both continue to increase, overwhelmingly among the unvaccinated, but the risk is greater for everyone if we do not stop the ongoing spread of the virus and the Delta variant. We know masking can help prevent transmission of COVID-19 and its variants. Until more people are vaccinated, we join CDC in recommending everyone, regardless of vaccination status, wear a mask indoors in areas of substantial and high transmissions, and in K-12 schools.”

Masks in Schools

That was another recommendation that the CDC came out with –  universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status.

Before the CDC recommendation, Indian Prairie School District 204 said masks would be optional in the upcoming school year. The district said they will continue to monitor community data including the positivity rate and cases per 100,000.

“At this point in time, we have not made any changes to our fall plans however, we will provide an update at the August 9 board of education meeting that reflects the most current information,” said Superintendent Adrian Talley in a note to D204 families.

The CDC reports the Delta variant is causing some vaccinated people to get infected with COVID-19, but most infections have been mild and vaccines are preventing severe illness, hospitalizations, and death.

According to the press release, IDPH will also be updating their school FAQ documents to reflect the CDC recommendation.

Naperville News 17’s Aysha Ashley Househ reports.