By Mugo Odigwe

CHICAGO (CBS)– Thousands of Chicago Public School students return to school next week amid a new statewide COVID safety requirement.

Governor JB Pritzker announced the indoor mask mandate Thursday along with vaccination requirements for educators.

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About two weeks ago, Chicago Public Schools said it will require all employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by October 15, unless they qualify for a medical or religious exemption.

Thursday, Pritzker made a similar decision for all the other school districts in the state.

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The vaccine mandate applies to all education workers in preschool through college level, and the mandate for healthcare workers applies to those in hospitals, nursing homes, urgent care facilities, doctors’ offices, and other similar healthcare settings.

Those people will be required to get their first dose of the vaccine by Sept. 5, and their second dose within 30 days of their first, according to the governor’s office. Education workers, college students, and healthcare workers who are unwilling or unable to get the vaccine will be required to get tested for the virus at least once a week.

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On Monday, a new masking mandate applies to everyone over the age of 2, inside public places regardless of vaccination status, goes into effect.