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(Issued July 30, 2021)

The CDC has issued updated recommendations for any county experiencing substantial or high community transmission of COVID-19. On July 29, 2021, the CDC indicated that Cook County is an area of “substantial” community transmission of COVID-19, meaning that there are between 50-99 new cases per 100,000 population as a seven-day rolling average. As such, the CDC recommends the following actions be taken to reduce community spread. In alignment with the CDC, CCDPH strongly recommends the following:

  • Individuals over 2 years of age should wear a mask in public indoor settings, regardless of vaccination status.
  • Fully-vaccinated people who have been exposed to someone who has suspected or confirmed COVID should be tested 3-5 days following the exposure and wear a mask indoors as above · Fully-vaccinated people may wish to mask outdoor in crowded settings. CCDPH fully endorses this action.
  • Guidance has not changed for unvaccinated individuals: masks should be worn indoors and in crowded outdoor settings, regardless of the community transmission level.

CCDPH continues to strongly recommend the following guidance previously issued by the CDC:

  • All people in school settings, including teachers, staff, students, and visitors, should wear masks indoors, regardless of vaccination status and CDC community transmission level.

In addition, CCDPH encourages fully-vaccinated people to:

  • Mask indoors, or in crowded outdoor settings, regardless of the level of community transmission.

Masks continue to be required for all persons older than 2 years of age on public transportation, including buses, planes, trains, airports, bus stations, or any other indoor transportation hub. Masking continues to be required in health care and long-term care settings. Staff, residents and visitors should continue to follow CDC guidance.

You might choose to wear a mask regardless of the level of transmission if you have a weakened immune system or if, because of your age or an underlying medical condition, you are at increased risk for severe disease, or if a member of your household has a weakened immune system, is at increased risk for severe disease, or is unvaccinated.

CCDPH encourages all people 12 years of age and older to get a COVID-19 vaccine. Evidence supports the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines. Fully-vaccinated individuals are at significantly reduced risk of severe illness, hospitalization, and death if they contract COVID-19. For a list of community vaccination events in suburban Cook County, please click here.

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