Chicago Tribune: Letters: Some businesses are relaxing mask requirements. We can’t give up any ground on slowing COVID-19 spread.

In Illinois, we continue to see a persistent decrease in our COVID-19 positivity rate and a steady rise in our vaccination rate. The state has moved into the less restrictive phase four, and allowed for many businesses and recreational activities to reopen.

We applaud Illinoisans for mitigating their risks and getting this virus under control. However, as health care professionals and community members, we are extremely concerned with how universal mask requirements are being interpreted in phase four by establishments. The more contagious variants found in Illinois, coupled with the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations for tighter fitting masks or double-masking, underscore the need to not give any ground on this progress.

About Shikha Jain, MD FACP

I am a practicing, board-certified hematology/oncology physician in Chicago. I speak on topics ranging from the impact of social media on healthcare, how physicians can utilize social media, how to write Op-eds in the medical world, gender equity and barriers to career advancement, and topics in GI oncology and immunotherapy. My goal is to explain complicated topics in simple terms. I also enjoy writing and you can find some of my writing on this site. I am a mother to three amazing kids and married to a gastroenterologist. I look forward to connecting with you.

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