SIU to keep mask mandate despite Gov. Pritzker’s announcement lifting Illinois mask mandates on Feb. 28

By William Box, News Editor

SIU has announced its mask mandate will remain despite  Governor J.B. Pritzker’s announcement on Wednesday.  State-level indoor masking mandates will be lifted on Feb. 28.

“As we have from the beginning of the pandemic, we have relied on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Illinois Departments of Public Health and local public health experts,” a statement from SIU’s Emergency Operations Center said.

Pirtzker’s announcement about ending the state-wide mask mandate comes on the heels of a court ruling against such mandates. The governor said masking, vaccines and testing have helped Illinois fare better than some states against the spread of COVID-19.


“Today, three weeks past the peak and thanks to the precautions our residents have taken, from Chicago to Carbondale, the heightened emergency of omicron has been consistently subsiding,” Pritzker said. “We are now seeing the fastest rate of decline in our COVID-19 hospitalization metrics since the pandemic began.”

“We are on track to come out on the other side of this latest COVID storm in better shape than the doctors expected,” Pritzker said. 

Pritzker said this decision will not override masking requirements for local or federal facilities, businesses or schools and masks will still be required for riders of public transit.

“Many local jurisdictions, businesses and organizations have their own mask requirements and other mitigations that must be respected,” Pritzker said.

Pritzker said it is important to remember that, while masking mandates may end, COVID continues to infect people and recommended  wearing masks whenever possible and getting vaccinated to prevent the spread of the virus.

Compassion and kindness toward each other is the hallmark of being an Illinoisan. It’s who we are,” Pritzker said. “And whether you’re wearing a mask or not, everyone deserves to protect themselves and their communities in whatever way they need to.”

Staff reporter William Box can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @William17455137. To stay up to date with all your southern Illinois news, follow the Daily Egyptian on Facebook and Twitter.