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Illinois health organizations respond in support of new mask rule

CHICAGO (WREX) -- Health organizations across Illinois are responding in support of new face-covering rules set by Illinois health officials.

This comes after Gov. JB Pritzker announced stiffer penalties including fines for businesses who do not follow face mask and capacity requirements to fight COVID-19.

The Illinois Public Health Association says it agrees with the new rule because it can save lives and slow the spread of the virus.

“These proposed rules allow for multiple opportunities and flexibility to help businesses and others come into compliance. As frontline defenders of the public’s health, we have a responsibility to support initiatives that are proven to help prevent the spread of this virus, and we believe these proposed rules are a measured and necessary step to reduce future transmission of coronavirus and ultimately save many lives across our state. It is incumbent on all of us to do our part to keep Illinois citizens safe. We implore the public to voluntarily comply with these emergency rules in order to combat the spread of COVID-19,” the Illinois Public Health Association said.

The Illinois Association of Safety Net Community Hospitals also supports the new measure, calling it reasonable and necessary to keep people safe.

“We stand in support of the governor’s proposed rules requiring face coverings for businesses, schools, and childcare providers. It is up to our elected leaders to make the decisions needed to help stop the spread of COVID-19, and while they are never easy, they are now more than necessary. Black and brown communities have unfairly suffered the brunt of this pandemic since the beginning, with a loss of life and economic activity that will take years to recover from. These proposed rules are a more than reasonable step to help lower the transmission of this virus and ultimately help halt the pandemic that has devastated the communities we serve.”

Any business not enforcing the mask and capacity mandate could face a fine of up to $2,500 after being warned.

The mandate will be reviewed Tuesday by Illinois lawmakers on the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules before the rule can go into effect.

Devin Brooks

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