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City of Highland Park Requires Use of Face Coverings Effective Monday, April 20

City of Highland Park, IL Requires Use of Face Coverings Effective Monday, April 20
Measure is aligned with CDC guidance to slow the spread of COVID-19

April 17, 2020 – On Friday, April 17, 2020, with the support of the majority of the City Council, Mayor Nancy Rotering issued an Emergency Order requiring all individuals in Highland Park over the age of two to wear a face covering when engaging in essential services. The Order, which takes effect on Monday, April 20, 2020, will apply to employees, residents and visitors for the duration of the City’s Emergency Declaration.

While Governor Pritzker’s Stay at Home Order remains in effect, all Illinoisans are directed to shelter in place, with limited exceptions for accessing or working in essential services. Mayor Rotering’s Order requires individuals to wear a face covering over their nose and mouth while engaging in the following activities permitted in the Governor’s Stay at Home Order:

  • Working in or patronizing Essential Businesses as defined in the Governor’s Stay at Home Order (such as grocery or hardware stores, restaurant carryout, banks, construction sites, automobile repair shops, landscaping and home/curbside delivery carriers)
  • Shopping for necessary supplies and services or visiting a healthcare professional
  • Riding in public transportation, taxis, or ride shares

The Order provides for specific exceptions, most importantly when doing so poses a greater health, safety, or security risk to the individual. According to guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), face coverings should not be worn by children younger than age two, by anyone having difficulty breathing, or those who are unconscious, incapacitated or unable to remove the covering without assistance. People who are sick are reminded that they may not leave home except to receive medical care and should otherwise avoid public places.

Face coverings are also unnecessary in the following circumstances: 

  • Engaging in outdoor, recreational physical activity while observing a physical distance of at least six feet from others
  • Riding in personal vehicles
  • Remaining at home or in a similar private space, alone or with members of the same household

In the event social distancing is not feasible during outdoor activity, masks or face coverings are required, except in the case of members of the same household who are together.

“It is critical that we follow the recommendations of the CDC in terms of remaining at home as much as possible. Continuing to observe social distancing guidelines is vital to protecting our community’s health. The requirement that the public wear masks is not a replacement for social distancing, it is in addition to social distancing,” said Mayor Rotering. “Unfortunately, we are continuing to see a rise in cases in Highland Park and will likely reach 100 cases over the weekend. The public’s health and safety are our priority. This order further protects our most vulnerable neighbors, essential workers, and all residents.”

The measure is intended to augment actions previously taken by the City and the State of Illinois to reduce community transmission of COVID-19. Wearing a face covering is not an exemption from social distancing directives and does not permit non-essential public excursions. Rather, face coverings primarily serve to protect others from asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic individuals who may not realize they have contracted COVID-19.

Medical-grade masks (surgical, dental or N95 masks) should be reserved for healthcare professionals and first responders only. Homemade, fabric face coverings meet the requirement. Face coverings should allow for breathing without restriction, fit snugly against the face, and include multiple layers of fabric. Fabric face coverings should be regularly laundered in hot water, and individuals should be careful not to touch their eyes, nose, and mouth while wearing the face covering.

Sew and no-sew patterns are available for download on the City’s website at  Scarves, bandanas, and handkerchiefs are also acceptable face coverings.

Business owners or operators are directed to refuse service to individuals who are not in compliance with the Executive Order.   Individuals are encouraged to contact business owners and managers if essential workers and customers are not complying with the Order.  The Highland Park Police Department is enforcing all emergency measures to combat COVID-19, including the issuance of citations.

The City will continue to provide regular updates to the community on its response to the COVID-19 pandemic via its website at, social media, and e-newsletter. Residents are also encouraged to sign up for emergency alerts with Smart911.