Masks now required in all state facilities as local COVID numbers grow

MARION COUNTY — Illinois is now requiring face coverings at all state facilities, regardless of vaccination status.

Governor J.B. Pritzker announced the policy change Thursday, following the release of data by the CDC showing high COVID-19 transmission levels in most Illinois counties.

State health officials are recommending that everyone wear face coverings in public indoor settings where there is a substantial risk of virus transmission. Pritzker also strongly recommended that those who are eligible get vaccinated.

In Marion County Thursday, 17 new cases of the virus were confirmed and included a baby girl under 6 months, one girl under 13, and two girls in their teens.

One other case was linked to the Salem factory outbreak. Eleven are considered community spread, while six are considered spread through household or close contact.

The 17 new cases have been placed in isolation. Ten Marion County residents are currently hospitalized with coronavirus with three now on ventilators.