Little Village COVID vaccine bus gives shots on day before restrictions lift

COVID Illinois: Vaccine, mask mandates lifting across state as cases drop
CHICAGO (WLS) -- On a bus, there was a final push to vaccinate the many in Little Village.

"We're going up and down 26th Street. We've had multiple stops," said Nancy Aguilar, an organizer for the vaccination event. "It's important for us to be in these neighborhoods where they might not have the amount of resources that other neighborhoods have."

Some COVID-19 regulations in Illinois and Chicago were in their last hours.

RELATED: COVID Illinois Update: IL reports 2,074 new cases, 74 deaths

"Now more than ever, we got to protect ourselves. The pandemic, corona, is still around, so we have to protect ourselves," said Rey Raigoza, an organizer with the Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Come Monday, the indoor mask mandate will be lifted statewide, as well as in Chicago, where the city's proof-of-vaccination requirement will also end. The move comes amid improving COVID-19 metrics.

"I would still recommend that if you are in indoor spaces, especially those that are crowded, that you put on a mask," said Dr. Rachel Rubin of the Cook County Health Department.

Some businesses have been choosing to slowly ease out of their own masking rules.

"Right now, we are wearing masks but we already told our employees that it's going to be optional for them," said Mariel Carlos, who is the manager of Taqueria Los Camales. "This is going to be very helpful because we are going to be having more customers. 9:41

Customers have also weighed in on the issue.

"I think it gives me a sense of freedom," said German Rodriguez, a customer. "My choice, if I want to wear it or if I don't want to wear it."

Still, customers also said respect remains important.

"We all should have a choice, but we need to respect each other, too," said Olivia Ruvalcava, another customer. "Because you don't know who's in my home. You don't know that she's immune-compromised. I'm immune-compromised. You don't know that."

Monday's move will mark a pivotal moment in the state's road to normalcy.

"We'll know, eventually, if it's too early but what I can say is we need to get vaccinated," said Raigoza.

There are still some exceptions to this new statewide move. Masks are still required in places like hospitals, long-term care facilities, clinics, prisons and jails, and on public transportation.
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