information provided by the Office of the Governor
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (July 27, 2020) – The State of Illinois will distribute more than 60,000 cloth face masks to state agencies, boards, and commissions for employees returning to the workplace. The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), Central Management Services (CMS), and the Illinois Emergency Management Agency are spearheading the effort. All state employees are required to wear face coverings and practice social distancing while at their worksites.
“If worn properly, using a face covering has been shown to help reduce the spread of COVID-19,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike. “We have learned that people may be most infectious up to two days before they begin showing symptoms. But if an infected individual is wearing a face covering, it can help prevent the droplets from their mouth or nose from reaching others around them. By wearing a face covering, you are respecting those around you and helping reduce the spread of COVID-19.”
The Illinois Department of Central Management Service (CMS) developed the State’s Return to Work guidelines and surveyed each State agency, board, and commission under the jurisdiction of Governor Pritzker to gather information about their site-specific return to work plans. Under the guidelines, all state employees must have the accurate personal protective equipment (PPE) needed to safely return to their worksite. The Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA), overseeing the State’s logistics response for COVID-19, used this information to supply each employee with two cloth face masks.
The masks were obtained from a private party source via the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Employees were supplied with cloth masks to reserve medical grade PPE for healthcare professionals on the front line of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
For more information about Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois Plan, visit coronavirus.Illinois.gov.