Chicago's indoor mask mandate officially came back into effect this (Friday) morning, and that means residents age two or older must wear masks inside bars and restaurants, stores, theaters, health clubs, and other indoor spaces, whether you've been vaccinated or not.

If this seems like a flashback to what was happening a few months back, it's easy to understand. To me, it seems like just last week we were given the greenlight to "Reopen Illinois," and that masks, at least mandatory masking, would be in the past-tense.

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New COVID Cases Prompt Chicago To Take A Step Back

However, with Chicago reporting more than 400 new cases of coronavirus per day, health officials have reinstituted a mask mandate for all residents age 2 and older, regardless of a person’s COVID vaccination status.

With the Chicago Bears hosting the second pre-season game of the year, things are going to feel a lot differently than they did just a week ago at Soldier Field when you had to look really hard to find a mask amongst the crowd.

Chicago Sports Is Being Affected By The New Mandate

The Bears have already announced that "per guidance from the CDC, the Chicago Department of Public Health will require people to wear masks in public indoor settings, including areas at Soldier Field effective this Friday."

Those areas include the United Club, Miller Lite Midway, Pro Shop, North Garage, bathrooms, elevators, and enclosed hallways. When fans are in open concourse areas or sitting at their seats, masks will be optional. Spectators who haven’t been vaccinated against COVID-19 are being strongly urged to wear masks.

Here are some of the spots that masks will be expected, according to the Chicago Department of Public Health:

  • In all indoor public settings, including in bars, restaurants, grocery stores, gyms, private clubs and in common areas of condo and multi-residential buildings.
  • On public transportation
  • In health care settings
  • In schools
  • In correctional and congregate settings

There are a few exceptions to the rules:

  • Masks may be removed while eating or drinking in bars, restaurants or other establishments
  • Masks can also be removed during specific activities that require their removal, including while getting beard shaves or facials at salons.
  • Masks can also be removed by employees in settings that are not open to the public. Employees in those settings must also be static, and must maintain social distancing of at least six feet from all other individuals.

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