Cook County indoor mask mandate back in effect, with face masks required in bars, restaurants

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Monday, August 23, 2021
Cook County indoor mask mandate back in effect
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Even more people will be wearing masks indoors as Cook County's mask mandate returns.

NILES (WLS) -- Cook County's indoor mask mandate went back in effect Monday morning, with businesses required to post signage reminding customers to mask up before stepping inside.

All residents of Cook County age two or older must wear masks inside bars and restaurants, stores, theaters, health clubs and other indoor spaces, vaccinated or not. Chicago's indoor mask mandate took effect on Friday.

"In some ways, it makes it easier for retail establishments because they no longer have to worry about whether somebody is vaccinated or not in terms of allowing them to take their mask off or not have a mask," said Dr. Rachel Rubin, co-lead for the Cook County Department of Public Health.

There are some exceptions. For instance, masks may be removed while eating or drinking in bars, restaurants or other establishments.

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Not surprisingly, some people aren't happy with the new county-wide mask mandate.

"I really wish that people could make their own decision, especially for kids," said Northbrook resident Vlada Ginzburg.

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Ginzburg isnt looking forward to the renewed restrictions. Fully vaccinated, she feels protected enough to avoid masks.

"It's one thing to wear a mask in the grocery store but it's another thing in the gym class or in the health club," she said.

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County health officials say we are in a dangerous period with the delta variant surging, and feel they have no choice but to require masks and help contain the spread.