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Naperville Mayor Calls for Removal of Mask Mandate Amid Increase in COVID Cases – NBC Chicago

In a recent Facebook post, the mayor of the suburb of Naperville said he would support a lifting of the Illinois state mask mandate, even if COVID cases have continued to rise in recent weeks.

Naperville Mayor Steve Chirico points out that Illinois is the only state in the Midwest that still has a mask mandate on the books, while the number of COVID cases is still rising as the reason behind the mandate move.

He goes on to argue that masks have “minimal, if any,” impact on the spread of the coronavirus.

“Fact: Illinois is the only state in the Midwest that currently requires a mask, and yet we’re no better off than the surrounding states,” he said. “In my view, given the CDC intelligence and the minimal impact of COVID containment strategies on actual results, it is time to ditch the mask mandate in Illinois.”

Chirico says he is encouraging residents to get the COVID vaccine.

The CDC, which recommends residents who live in an area at “significant” or “high” risk of COVID transmission, wear masks regardless of vaccination status, says both DuPage and Will counties are currently in fall into a “high risk” category for transmission of COVID.

In fact, the vast majority of Illinois’ 102 counties are currently in this “high risk” category.

The CDC website states that “wearing masks can help communities slow the spread of COVID-19 if worn consistently and correctly by the majority of people in public facilities,” and says that it does It becomes even more effective when residents take preventive measures, including social distancing and frequent hand washing.

Mask requirements, which had been lifted across the country earlier this year, were reintroduced in Illinois as cases increased this summer due to the spread of the more contagious Delta variant of COVID-19.

COVID-19 booster vaccinations could soon be available to all adults in the US as health officials urge people to get their third vaccinations as soon as possible. Kate Chappell from NBC 5 reports.

While cases in the state fell briefly earlier this fall, they have risen again in the past few weeks, with daily cases in the state increasing by more than 80% overall.

Even so, there is growing opposition to mask mandates. A suburb of Chicago, Elk Grove Village, has previously announced that masks are now optional indoors, including in community public buildings.

While Naperville has not indicated that it will pursue a similar strategy, it could face a tough decision as cases around the community continue to increase. In the past seven days, DuPage County has recorded 1,712 new cases of COVID-19. There were 79 new hospital admissions, and the county recorded an average of 185.5 new cases of COVID per 100,000 population during that time.

According to the CDC, the case rate in the county has increased 25% in the past week alone.

In Will County, which also includes part of Naperville, the case rate is 218.61 per 100,000 for the past seven days, an increase of 41.4% over the past week. The county reported 1,510 new cases in the past week.

Overall, the state of Illinois has seen COVID cases rise significantly in the past few weeks, with the state recording an average of 3,767 new coronavirus cases per day. That’s an 81.5% increase since Oct. 24, according to data from the Illinois Department of Health.

Illinois Governor JB Pritzker has made no announcements about whether the state plans to withdraw its indoor mask mandate. Dr. Allison Arwady, commissioner for the Chicago Department of Public Health, has indicated the city would need to see fewer than 200 new COVID cases per day to withdraw the request, but says the city has had more than double that number recently .

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