Illinois governor to lift mask mandate except for schools

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker says that at the end of the month he will lift the requirement for face coverings to be worn in most indoor spaces to slow the spread of COVID-19.

The mandate will stay in place for K-12 schools where students, teachers and staff are clustered together.

Pritzker said Wednesday that the worst of the deadly virus’ omicron variant has passed and with hospitalization numbers plummeting, masks will not need to not be worn to enter restaurants, grocery stores or other indoor spaces.

The Democratic governor has appealed a circuit court ruling last week that he had overstepped by requiring face coverings for in-person learning.