The number of confirmed cases in Illinois continues to rise, making it more important that ever for people to protect themselves when stepping outside. Today, Governor J.B. Pritzker offered some official guidance on what Illinois residents can do to prevent the spread while in public places, encouraging the use of personal face masks.
During his daily press conference, Pritzker continued to urge Illinois residents to heed the "stay-at-home" order that runs through April 30, but said that individuals should wear face masks if they need to go outside. "Wearing something to cover your face is a good idea based upon what the science says," Pritzker said. "Wearing a mask is just one more way that we can help take care of one another in our state."
The Governor noted that Illinois residents should rely on homemade face masks rather than the increasingly scarce N95 masks, which should be reserved for use by healthcare workers. You can easily fashion a simple face mask with a couple of hair ties and a bandana or, if you're a little more crafty, you can use a pattern to sew one. Pritzker noted that a good mask is "really just something to cover your nose and mouth out of courtesy to those around you in case you’re one of those who are symptomatic or pre-symptomatic and could be spreading the virus."
The Center for Disease Control has issued a similar recommendation that Americans use "non-medical, cloth" to protect themselves when in public. During a White House briefing on Friday, President Donald Trump made it clear that wearing a mask in public was not a requirement, saying, "You can do it. You don’t have to do it. I’m choosing not to do it."
While it's not illegal to be in public without a face mask, wearing one when you leave your house seems like an easy way to help control the spread while being considerate of those you encounter while outside. A few layers of fabric could prevent you from contracting the virus, or ensure that you don't spread it to others—if you ask us, that seems worth the trouble of rigging up a makeshift mask.