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Mandatory masks return to Illinois on Monday

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker reinstated a mask mandate for the state effective Monday, Aug. 30

ST. CLAIR COUNTY, Ill. — Beginning Monday, you can still window shop if you live in the Metro East, but if you're not wearing a mask, you might be locked out.

"I'm going to wear it. That's the rule. I'm good with it," said one Metro East resident. "It's a little disheartening that we're going back to mask mandates."

Like it or not, the count down is on to another mandatory mask mandate in Illinois.

"It's going to hit businesses hard again. Several of my friends' businesses have gone under from this," added the woman. 

The mandate will require Illinoisans to wear masks when inside all businesses.

The mask mandate applies to anyone over the age of two, regardless of their COVID-19 vaccination status.

"To be honest, I don't know if the state should tell you how to do stuff, but for me, I'm going to wear it anyway," said Tad Milburn.

Health officials say the Delta variant of COVID-19 is spreading across the state.

According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, almost all 102 counties in Illinois are currently classified as a "high transmission risk."

Health officials also report as of Friday, there were more than 4,900 new COVID-19 cases in the state — more than a previous uptick in April.

"I'm all for protecting the public, but it does kind of stink," said another Metro East woman.

Despite the mounting criticism from many, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker insists the mandatory statewide masking rule is the right move."

"Masks work. Period," Pritzker said on Thursday.

In addition to wearing masks, Pritzker is also requiring all school teachers and staff to either get the COVID-19 vaccine or be regularly tested.

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