CICERO, Ill. (WLS) -- Wearing a face mask will not be optional for certain parts of Skokie beginning Thursday.
The new measure aims to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and several area suburbs are jumping on board, requiring residents to wear a mask.
People will be required to wear face masks in certain public locations as part of an executive order in Skokie. The order takes effect at 5 p.m. Thursday.
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"The idea is not to be punitive, but to help everybody take care of themselves, stay healthy," said Skokie Mayor George Van Dusen.
There are exceptions to the mask mandate. You don't have to cover your face in your car, home or when you are exercising outdoors. For more information visit: skokie.org.
Glenview, Cicero, and Morton Grove are also mandating residents and visitors to wear a mask when in essential businesses like grocery stores, pharmacies and gas stations.
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There are 263 confirmed COVID-19 cases and eight deaths in Skokie. Over in Cicero, there are 250 confirmed cases.
"We are trying to do whatever we can to stem the increase in virus infection," said Ray Hanania, a member of Cicero Town and Board.
Cicero Town and Board President Larry Dominick signed an executive order that mandates all 'essential business' employees and customers wear a face covering while on the premises.
The order states if an employee or visitor refuses to wear a face covering, then the business must decline entry to the individual.
Town officials said a special task force composed of members from the Cicero Police Department, the Cicero Business License Department, and the Cicero Health Department has been formed to enforce the order.
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Failure to comply with the order will result in a citation and a fine, town officials said. A second offense for non-compliance will result in the immediate revocation of the business license.
For more information visit: thetownofcicero.com.
This may be the rule across the state. Governor JB Pritzker said moving forward, he is seriously considering an order to wear masks.
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While there is a push for masks, the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention guidelines remind parents that infants or toddlers under the age of 2 should not wear a mask because they could suffocate.
In the city of Chicago, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said it'll remain a recommendation for now.
"I think the guidance that we have given is the right guidance," Lightfoot said. "If you cannot social distance comfortably or you feel the need to wear a face covering, people are doing that."
Coronavirus Illinois: Face mask requirement in Skokie takes effect Thursday, joining Cicero, Glenview, Morton Grove
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