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Illinois Face Mask Requirements

Dear members of the Northwestern community,

Beginning today, May 1, all Illinois residents are required to wear masks or face coverings in public places and in situations where they are unable to follow social distancing guidelines.

The order, issued by Governor J.B. Pritzker, applies to all individuals on Northwestern’s Evanston and Chicago campuses, including faculty, staff, students, contractors and visitors whenever appropriate social distancing of at least six feet cannot be accomplished. This may occur when in elevators, common areas, lobbies or in densely-populated office areas.

The face covering requirement generally will not apply to faculty and staff while working in laboratories, as established personal protective equipment expectations supersede the requirement. It also will not apply to members of the University community who live in University-owned or operated residential facilities, when they are in their private residential hall rooms or residences.

Appropriate face coverings include non-medical grade masks, homemade masks, scarves, bandanas or handkerchiefs. Medical-grade masks and N95 respirators are not recommended for general public use, per CDC guidelines and the governor’s order, and should be reserved for use by health care workers, medical providers and first-responders.

Essential employees who are working on site and need face masks should contact their supervisors, who will work with Risk Management and Research Safety to obtain and distribute masks to employees. Students living on campus who are in need of a mask will receive additional information via email from Student Affairs.

For any questions about these requirements, please review the FAQs on Northwestern’s COVID-19 website or contact the following:

The Illinois order is in addition to a similar face-covering order issued by Evanston Mayor Steve Hagerty on April 20th. View the details of the Evanston order in the University’s April 22 statement to the community.

We appreciate your cooperation in helping to protect our community and beyond.


Luke Figora
Senior Associate Vice President
Chief Risk and Compliance Officer