Illinois governor recommends masks, distancing for holiday gatherings

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Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker is asking Illinoisans to think twice about gathering without masks with family and friends for the coming holiday season.

The governor made the point to address the quickly-approaching festivities in his news conference Monday in Peoria.

“We’re about to have Halloween, Thanksgiving, Eid, Christmas, Hanukkah and so on,” he said. “If you’re going to bring people who don’t live with you, who you don’t know exactly where they’ve been, you may love them, you may like them, they’re your friends. But, you’re going to bring them into your home when you don’t know where they’ve been, please wear your mask, keep some distance.”

Pritzker made clear that the precautions were pointed toward those who were not a part of a household’s “pod” of people who are in normal contact with each other under the same roof, rather friends and family who aren’t in normal close contact with each other.

“It will be a strange circumstance, perhaps, this year but this is exactly what we want to keep you safe from is the transmission of the virus in these small, packed grouped settings and that’s exactly the season that we’re heading into,” he said.

Pritzker’s recommendations are in line with recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In addition to what the governor recommended Monday, the CDC also advises quarantining for 14 days prior to attending a holiday gathering.

Illinois public health officials on Monday reported 4,729 new cases of COVID-19 and attributed 17 additional deaths to the virus.

Pritzker also announced two more of his designated regions in the state would fall back into tighter COVID-19 restrictions.

Western Cook County and the Metro East Regions will see bans on indoor dining and crowd restrictions of 25 people or 25% of a business’ capacity beginning Wednesday.

When the new restrictions take effect, six of the 11 regions in Illinois will fac

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