Beginning Monday, August 2, 2021 face coverings will be required in all Lake County government buildings for both vaccinated and unvaccinated people, according to Interim Chief Communications Officer Alex Carr. The requirement is in alignment with the federal government and the State of Illinois, which recently began requirements in its government buildings.
The COVID-19 Delta variant is projected to become the most dominant variant as cases identified as the Delta variant increase across Illinois and nationwide. The Delta variant is shown to be more contagious and spread more easily than other variants. Recent evidence suggests that a small number of fully vaccinated people who become infected with the Delta variant may be able to infect others.
For more information about the latest COVID-19 guidance, please visit Lake County’s COVID-19 web page: lakecountyil.gov/coronavirus
The public is encouraged to use the Lake County website to conduct business digitally and also can attend Board and Committee meetings virtually. Learn more about attending Lake County meetings remotely.
In addition to following mask guidelines, please remember to practice regular hand hygiene and take steps reduce the spread of germs:
Wash your hands with hot, soapy water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer after touching any surfaces that may have been touched by others.
Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue.
Stay home if you are sick.
The Lake County authority thanks citizens for cooperation and patience during the challenges of this pandemic.
Gov. JB Pritzker lifted the mask mandate for fully vaccinated Illinois residents on May 17, 2021 following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but on Thursday, July 20, 2021 issued an order that all state building visitors over 2 years old are required to wear face coverings while inside state offices and facilities. An exception is made if individuals “are unable to medically tolerate a face covering,” the guidance stated. The front page of coronavirus.illinois.gov did not include any mention of the mask mandate for State of Illinois building as of Friday, July 30, 2021 at 5:45 p.m., but instead encouraged vaccination, stating “(t)he most important benefit of vaccination is to help prevent you from getting sick with COVID-19” and that “(v)accines go through rigorous testing to prove their protection, and all three authorized vaccines are highly effective at preventing death and hospitalizations from COVID-19” and that “(v)accines are how we end this pandemic. Once enough of us have been vaccinated and build immunity, we can get back to our pre-COVID routine.”
The Cook County Department of Public Health did not include any mention of a mask mandate or mask recommendation on the front page of their official website. The official Twitter feed for the Cook County Department of Public Health included a link to YouTube video that was streamed live on Friday, July 30, 2021.
According to a CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) reported Friday, July 30, 2021, during July 2021, 469 cases of COVID-19 associated with multiple summer events and large public gatherings in a town in Barnstable County, Massachusetts, were identified among Massachusetts residents. Vaccination coverage among eligible Massachusetts residents was 69%. Approximately three quarters (346; 74%) of cases occurred in fully vaccinated persons (those who had completed a 2-dose course of mRNA vaccine [Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna] or had received a single dose of Janssen [Johnson & Johnson] vaccine ≥14 days before exposure). Genomic sequencing of specimens from 133 patients identified the B.1.617.2 (Delta) variant of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, in 119 (89%) and the Delta AY.3 sublineage in one (1%). Overall, 274 (79%) vaccinated patients with breakthrough infection were symptomatic. Among five COVID-19 patients who were hospitalized, four were fully vaccinated; no deaths were reported.
On July 27, 2021 CDC released recommendations that all persons, including those who are fully vaccinated, should wear masks in indoor public settings in areas where COVID-19 transmission is high or substantial. Findings from this investigation suggest that even jurisdictions without substantial or high COVID-19 transmission might consider expanding prevention strategies, including masking in indoor public settings regardless of vaccination status, given the potential risk of infection during attendance at large public gatherings that include travelers from many areas with differing levels of transmission.
The CDC stated that event organizers and local health jurisdictions should continually assess the need for additional measures, including limiting capacity at gatherings or event postponement, based on current rates of COVID-19 transmission, population vaccination coverage, and other factors.
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