SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – The State of Illinois will distribute more than 60,000 cloth masks to State agencies, boards and commissions to protect the health and safety of employees returning to the workplace.
“As more of our economy reopens and Illinoisans returns to work, the single best thing you can do to help our state is wear a mask everywhere you go,” Gov. J.B. Pritzker said. “The administration’s top priority remains protecting the health and safety of the people of Illinois; and by providing 60,000 face coverings for the hardworking men and women who help keep state government running, we are ensuring our state workers have the tools they need to stay safe.”
The Illinois Department of Central Management Service developed the State’s Return to Work guidelines and surveyed each State agency, board and commission under the jurisdiction of Gov. Pritzker to gather information about their site-specific return to work plans.
Under the guidelines, all state employees must have the accurate personal protective equipment needed to safely return to their worksite.
The Illinois Emergency Management Agency, overseeing the State’s logistics response for COVID-19, used this information to supply each employee with two cloth face masks.
“If worn properly, using a face covering has been shown to help reduce the spread of COVID-19,” IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said. “We have learned that people may be most infectious up to two days before they begin showing symptoms. But if an infected individual is wearing a face covering, it can help prevent the droplets from their mouth or nose from reaching others around them. By wearing a face covering, you are respecting those around you and helping reduce the spread of COVID-19.”
The masks were obtained from a private party source via the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Employees were supplied with cloth masks to reserve medical grade PPE for health care professionals on the front line of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
For more information about Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois Plan, visit coronavirus.Illinois.gov.