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FAQ on Face Covering and Vaccination Requirements

Additional guidance and clarification concerning the mask mandates and vaccine requirements
The Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity has recently issued additional guidance and clarification concerning the Governor’s recent mask mandate and vaccine requirements. Clarification was sought on behalf of ISDS members, and we are pleased to share this additional guidance. To view the full Q&A, click here

Examples include: 

Can health care workers, school personnel, higher education personnel, and higher education students choose to be tested rather than be vaccinated, even if they do not meet the requirements for a medical or religious exemption?
Yes. Individuals covered by the requirement to be vaccinated can choose to be tested on a weekly basis, rather than be vaccinated, regardless of the reason that they choose not to be vaccinated. However, an employer may choose to impose stronger health and safety requirements beyond the requirements of the Executive Order, such as permitting exceptions and weekly testing only for individuals with a medical or religious exemption. 

Are employers required to pay for testing for employees who are not vaccinated?
The Executive Order does not require employers to pay for testing if an employee is not fully vaccinated. However, we encourage all employers to consider making it as easy as possible for employees to get vaccinated and tested for the safety of all workers.

Pursuant to a federal Executive Order and guidance from CMS, Department of Labor, and Department of Treasury, health plans must provide coverage for COVID-19 diagnostic tests for individuals who are asymptomatic and who have no known or suspected exposure to COVID-19. Such testing must be covered without cost sharing, prior authorization, or other medical management requirements. More information is available here:

What does it mean for a person to have a medical condition that prevents the person from wearing a face covering?
A person who cannot wear a mask or cannot safely wear a mask because of a disability as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) (42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq.) is not required to wear a face covering pursuant to the Executive Order. Employers should discuss the possibility of reasonable accommodation with workers who are not fully vaccinated, who are unable to wear a mask, or who have difficulty wearing certain types of masks because of a disability.

Can a municipality or business impose face covering restrictions that are stricter than those contained in the Executive Order?
Yes. Local jurisdictions and business owners may impose face covering requirements that are stricter than the EO.

Who is responsible for enforcing the Executive Order?
All Illinoisans should follow the Order so that they can protect themselves, their families, and their communities from COVID-19. Local police and local health departments may utilize their traditional police powers and public health authority to address matters of noncompliance.