Pritzker announces new emergency rules regarding mask compliance, gathering size

Wabash Valley COVID-19 updates

CHICAGO — Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker on Friday announced new COVID-19 guidelines for mask use after Illinois reported more than 1,900 new virus cases on Thursday.

During a press conference, Pritzker said his administration is filing emergency rules for businesses, schools, and child care establishments regarding the use of face coverings and the size of gatherings.

According to Pritzker, the rules provide multiple opportunities for compliance before any penalty is issued, giving local health departments and local law enforcement more leeway to support community public health in a productive manner.

That process is as follows:  

  • First, businesses will be given a warning in the form of written notice and encouraged to voluntarily comply with public health guidance.  
  • Second, businesses that do not voluntarily comply will be given an order to have some or all of their patrons leave the premises as needed to comply with public health guidance and reduce risks.  
  • Third, if the business continues to refuse to comply, the business can receive a class A misdemeanor and be subject to a fine ranging from $75-$2,500. 

These rules do not apply to individuals and penalties will not exceed a misdemeanor and a $75-$2,500 fine.   

The emergency rules also reinforce the authority of IDPH and local health departments to investigate COVID-19 cases and reaffirm that businesses have a responsibility to cooperate with those investigations.  

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