The mayor of Naperville is calling for the removal of mask mandates in Illinois amid an increase in COVID-19 cases in Illinois.
“Illinois is the only state in the Midwest that currently requires a mask and yet, to date, we are no better off than surrounding states,” the mayor of Naperville said. Steve Chirico posted on Facebook Last week. “In my opinion, based on CDC information and minimal to no impact of COVID mitigation strategies on actual results, it is time to abandon the mask mandate in Illinois.”
Chirico also encouraged his followers to get vaccinated against COVID-19 in the same post.
The western suburbs, located in DuPage and Will counties, have high rates transmission of COVID-19, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health. In DuPage County, there have been 115,663 cases of COVID-19 and 1,403 deaths, while Will County, which also includes parts of Naperville, has had 97,449 cases and 1,159 deaths.
Statewide, there have been nearly 1.8 million cases of COVID-19, and the holiday season is expected to push the number of cases higher.
Chirico said on “Chicago Tonight” that he supports Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker’s mitigation efforts, but still thinks Illinois should follow the other 44 states that don’t have a mask mandate. He said the virus is “running” through the state regardless of the mask requirements imposed.
“Illinois has a lower transmission rate than surrounding states,” he said. “And the transmission rates are surprisingly not a direct link to the death rate, which I thought it was, but [it’s not] play that way. People are getting sick, and we understand that masks can help a little, but at what cost? And right now I don’t believe [COVID-19 data] can’t stand [the facts].”
Dr. Mia Taorminaan infectious disease expert from Duly Health and Care, agreed with Le Chirico that Illinois is the only Midwestern state with a mask mandate, but she predicts a fifth wave during the holiday season.
“I want these masks out and done,” she said. “And I think in a way, we’re going to see [mask mandates lifted] in the weeks and months to come as we progress through booster doses, as we progress through vaccination mandates, and as we begin to vaccinate more of our children. But right now, the trends are not favorable. With a positivity rate of 4.1%, we are closing in on that 5.5% positivity rate that initially brought us back to hiding in August. »
Chirico, who voted to reject the mask mandate with Naperville City Council last yearsaid his team had acquired many tools to slow the spread of the virus without a mask mandate.
“Our local hospital has 28 patients in intensive care, and only one has had [COVID-19]. And so, we are in a period of accelerated transmissions. From the beginning, we all talked about the goal of flattening this curve in order to protect the health care system, which I fully support and agree with. The health system was strained during the first wave, but less so during the third wave and the fourth wave. But today, [COVID-19] is not [impacting] the health system,” he said.