Despite Illinois mask mandate, Elk Grove Village makes them optional

ELK GROVE VILLAGE, Ill. (WLS) -- There's an indoor face mask mandate that applies to the state of Illinois. In Elk Grove Village, they're not enforcing it.

At Coach's Corner, a good crowd gathered to watch sports. But you'd have to look pretty hard to find anyone wearing a mask; customers, in the kitchen, on the floor, customers and employees are welcome to wear masks but no one is going to force you.

"It just made a lot of sense. Some people are wearing it under their chin... it looks silly," said Sue Remien, Coach's Corner.

That's the rule throughout the village. Mayor Craig Johnson announced the decision earlier this week at the city council meeting, saying the village hosted plenty of large concerts and other events all summer without any outbreaks of COVID-19.

"We have to start moving on. We're as safe as we can be. If you want to wear a mask, wear a mask," he said. "But it's time to move on."

The mayor said his home rule community has no legal obligation to enforce the governor's indoor mask mandate. He also said he is a strong advocate for the vaccine, and the vast majority of city employees and residents have been vaccinated. He argues that makes masks unnecessary.

"I would never do anything to harm or injure anyone," Johnson said.

The mayor said the bottom line is that COVID is not much of a problem in Elk Grove Village right now. A year ago at Alexian Brothers Hospital, they were treating 127 patients for COVID-19, including 41 on ventilators. Currently there are seven COVID patients at that hospital, with none on a ventilator.
Copyright © 2021 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.