EDWARDSVILLE - The City of Edwardsville announced today it has repealed the Mask Ordinance that has been in place since December of 2020. However, the city said it will continue to follow Illinois Department of Public Health policies for COVID-19 mitigations.

Edwardsville’s Mask Ordinance passed at a time when COVID-19 cases were rapidly increasing in Edwardsville and the region. The ordinance established local rules for mask wearing and social distancing and gave police the ability enforce them.

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With updates from the CDC and Illinois Department of Public Health loosening of mask requirements for those fully vaccinated, the City of Edwardsville has repealed the local mask ordinance, but wants to reaffirm that Edwardsville will continue to follow all State and IDPH rules for mask wearing and social distancing.

Edwardsville Fire Chief/Emergency Management Coordinator James Whiteford said while the mask ordinance is repealed for those who have been vaccinated, those who have not received COVID-19 shots, should follow proper protocols.

“Anyone who hasn’t been COVID-19 vaccinated should wear a mask indoors when they can’t separate from others 6 feet and outdoors,” he said. “The city intends to comply and hopes the public will follow suit.”

Chief Whiteford said the COVID-19 vaccination program has gone quite well, but there is still a lot of work to do with vaccines in the county.

“So far what the county has done with vaccines seems to be very effective,” he said. “Hospitalizations and deaths have been greatly reduced. Everyone should be getting vaccinated that doesn’t have a medical reason. The COVID-19 vaccines are working.”

Edwardsville Mayor Art Risavy said the CDC and Illinois Department of Public Health’s new ruling seems to make perfect sense.

“When the City of Edwardsville came up with the mask mandate, we wanted everyone to take it seriously and I think that is one of the reasons the city fared so well during COVID-19,” Risavy said.

The Governors Bridge Phase Order released 05/17/2021 highlights the following public health requirements for individuals:

Social distancing

To the extent individuals who are not fully vaccinated are using shared spaces when outside their residence,including when outdoors, they must at all times and as much as reasonably possible maintain social distancing of at least six feet from any other person who does not live with them

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Face coverings

Any individual who is not fully vaccinated and who is over age two and able to medically tolerate a face covering (a mask or cloth facecovering) shall be required to cover their nose and mouth with a face coveringwhen in a public place and unable to maintain a six-foot social distance. This requirement applies whether in an indoor space, such as a store, or in a public outdoor space where maintaining a six-foot social distance is not always possible.

All individuals, including those who are fully vaccinated, shall be required to wear a face covering consistent with CDC guidance, including:

(1) on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation and intransportation hubs such as airports and train and bus stations;

(2) in congregate facilities such as correctional facilities and homeless shelters; and

(3) in healthcare settings. Individuals in schools, day care settings, and educational institutions should continue to follow separate guidance issued by the Illinois State Board of Education, Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, and the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Elderly

Elderly people and those who are vulnerable as a result of illness should take additional precautions. People who are not fully vaccinated and who are at high risk of severe illness from COVID-19, including elderly people and those with a health condition that may make them vulnerable, are urged to stay in their residence and minimize in-person contact with others to the extent possible.

Gatherings

Because in-person contact presents the greatest risk of transmission of COVID-19, Illinoisans who are not fully vaccinated are encouraged to continue limiting in-person contact with others and to expand their social contact cautiously. For residents who are not fully vaccinated, gathering remotely continues to be the safest way to interact with those outside a household or residence.

Go outdoors

Public health guidance suggests that the risks of transmission of COVID-19 are greatly reduced outdoors as opposed to indoors.

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