Elmhurst Mayor Pushes Mask Policies

Elmhurst Mayor Pushes Mask Policies

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ELMHURST, IL — In fashion, the saying goes, “What’s old is new again.” That seems to apply to face masks as well.

At Monday’s City Council meeting, aldermen and city employees were wearing masks, something they hadn’t done at a meeting so far this summer. This comes a few days after the state announced DuPage County again reached “substantial” transmission risk for the coronavirus.

As it happens, an alderwoman who called into the meeting told her colleagues she had tested positive for the coronavirus.

Mayor Scott Levin said he consulted with the city manager and decided to require employees and aldermen to wear masks when they’re in the building away from their desks. He said he informed aldermen of the new mask rule in an email.

He also noted the CDC and the state Department of Public Health are recommending the wearing of masks in indoor public spaces.

“I’m not asking the council to issue any kind of ordinance on masks in other businesses,” the mayor said, “but I’m personally pleading that businesses in Elmhurst follow that mask mandate and have patrons and workers wear their masks.”

He said that as he went around town over the weekend, most workers and even many customers were wearing masks.

“Obviously, if you’re sitting down and eating, you would not be wearing a mask,” Levin said. “When you’re in those public spaces, the retail stores, please wear a mask. Please encourage the businesses you come across to take that up. Please encourage people to get vaccines. It’s the best hope we have for not reverting to something like we had last year, and that would be a terrible thing if that happened.”

Other public entities, including the city of Darien and the village of Western Springs, are now requiring the wearing of masks in their buildings.

Elmhurst’s shift in policy comes days after the Elmhurst school board approved a plan making masks optional in the new school year. The board heard emotional public comments from both sides of the issue.

In approving the plan, board member Jim Collins warned his colleagues that the state would likely mandate masks in schools in the next three weeks.

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