Mandatory masks reinstituted at secretary of state facilities, Springfield Capitol Complex
All employees and customers at Illinois Secretary of State driver-services facilities statewide, as well as everyone working in and visiting public areas of the Capitol Complex in Springfield, will be required to wear masks beginning Monday.
Secretary of State Jesse White is reinstituting the requirement indefinitely, regardless of vaccination status, because of recent increases in COVID-19 cases in Sangamon County and statewide, SOS spokesman Henry Haupt said.
The increases have largely been attributed to the COVID-19 delta variant, which is more transmissible than the original virus and is spreading quickly among unvaccinated people and also infecting some who are fully vaccinated.
Mask-wearing requirements in indoor areas controlled by the SOS were eased in May when the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said anyone who was fully vaccinated could forgo a mask and social distancing in most instances.
White said in a news release that it is “imperative” for SOS facilities to remain open to serve the public and reduce “heavy customer volume caused by the COVID-19 pandemic over the past year.”
Reinstating the mask mandate for customers “will help achieve this goal,” he said.
The mask mandate also will go into effect Monday in all non-public sections of Secretary of State offices, Haupt said.
White said he has extended expiration dates for driver’s licenses and ID cards until Jan. 1, 2022. Expired documents will remain valid until that date.
SOS customers also can use online services at cyberdriveillinois.com.
White said the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has extended the federal REAL ID deadline to May 3, 2023.
No new COVID-19 cases have been detected in connection with the July 22 closure of the SOS driver services facility at 316 N. Klein St. in Springfield, SOS spokesman Dave Druker said.
White’s office decided to close the Klein & Mason facility until Aug. 4 after an office worker there tested positive for COVID-19.
The facility was temporarily closed “out of an abundance of caution,” Druker said.
For the same reason, the SOS driver services facility in Deerfield, a Lake County suburb of Chicago, was closed Wednesday after six employees tested positive, Haupt said.
The facility will be closed until Aug. 10, and all employees who work at the facility will be quarantined for 14 days. The facility will be cleaned and sanitized based on CDC guidelines, SOS officials said.
Contact Dean Olsen: firstname.lastname@example.org; (217) 836-1068; twitter.com/DeanOlsenSJR.