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HomeAmerica FirstPritzker lifts mandated weekly COVID testing for unvaccinated healthcare workers

Pritzker lifts mandated weekly COVID testing for unvaccinated healthcare workers



CHICAGO — The COVID pandemic is winding down, Gov Pritzker said Monday in a press statement, so as of today, weekly testing requirements for unvaccinated healthcare and long-term center workers will be paused until further notice.

And masks will not be required in Illinois healthcare facilities.  

While the governor still continues to issue executive order disaster proclamations as he first issued in March 2020, just weeks before the 2022 election, he is feeling much better about the COVID situation in Illinois. 

“Thanks to the tremendous efforts of our health care workers and residents, Illinois has done better at keeping our people safe with vaccines, boosters, and masking, which puts us in a position to continue to scale back health care requirements in line with the CDC,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “COVID-19 is on its way to becoming endemic, like the flu, but it still poses a real threat to our immunocompromised and disabled communities. Here in Illinois, we look out for one another—it’s what defines us as Illinoisans. Let us continue to live up to those ideals by masking up and testing when we have symptoms and getting COVID-19 booster shots—as I recently did—so that we can protect our neighbors.”

His Illinois Department of Public Health director agreed – and pushed COVID vaccinations and treatments that are still being developed.

“As we continue to learn how to live with COVID-19, it is important for the State of Illinois to adapt our policies to better align with federal guidelines,” said IDPH Director Dr. Sameer Vohra. “The Department continues to monitor COVID-19 closely. And we are working with our healthcare and long-term care partners to promote staying up-to-date with vaccinations, make treatments available, and protect our healthcare workforce. The updated Executive Order demonstrates our state’s ability to effectively combat COVID-19 with the many advanced tools at our disposal that can both prevent and treat this disease. I continue to encourage all of our residents, but especially those most at risk of severe outcomes, to take advantage of the vaccinations and treatments available to protect themselves and their families.”

The updated executive order removes the weekly testing requirements for unvaccinated healthcare and LTC workers. The order will also trigger an update of IDPH policy on face coverings. Face coverings are no longer required in all healthcare facilities but are still recommended in healthcare facilities in areas of high community transmission, consistent with CDC guidance. Finally, the amended order removes the state-issued vaccine mandate for LTC and healthcare employees, consistent with the CDC’s guidance.

Although the vaccine mandate has been removed on the state level, a federal rule from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services requiring vaccination for workers at Medicare/Medicaid-certified facilities remains in effect. The state’s amended executive order does not impact that requirement and many Illinois healthcare and LTC sites will continue to have a COVID-19 vaccine mandate under this federal rule. As always, employers are encouraged to put appropriate testing, vaccination, and masking regulations in place if they so choose.

The amended executive order does not impact vaccination and testing requirements for state employees at state-owned congregate facilities.


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