IHA Supports Emergency Rules on Face Coverings

Aug. 10, 2020

As the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules prepares to meet Tuesday to consider emergency rules on face coverings and social gatherings filed by the Illinois Dept. of Public Health, Governor J.B. Pritzker defended the rules at a Sunday afternoon press conference at Northwestern Medicine’s Prentice Women’s Hospital in Chicago. The rules would give local health departments and law enforcement agencies “more leeway” in enforcing the state’s mask mandate and social gathering restrictions.

“The rule allows a modest level of enforcement similar to what many other states already have,” Governor Pritzker said. “It prioritizes education and support for businesses over shaming and punishment. It stands in vast contrast to the arcane rules written long ago and without this pandemic in mind.”

IHA and several other major health organizations support the emergency rules.

“IHA and the hospital community strongly support the Governor and IDPH in taking this decisive action – based on public health and science – to protect Illinoisans against a rapidly spreading, deadly pandemic,” said IHA President & CEO A.J. Wilhelmi in a statement. “Numerous studies demonstrate that face coverings are highly effective in slowing the spread of the coronavirus, which is critically important now as communities across the state are seeing troubling increases in new COVID-19 cases. We respectfully urge the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules to allow the emergency rules on face coverings to move forward to help ensure the health and safety of students and teachers, employees and customers, healthcare professionals who are on the frontlines providing lifesaving care, and our loved ones and neighbors.”