Illinois will require all educators from kindergarten through college and health care workers to get COVID-19 vaccines or submit to weekly testing.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Thursday also announced a fresh statewide mandate on wearing masks indoors in response to a spike in cases, particularly in southern Illinois.

Pritzker says hospital systems are becoming overwhelmed in areas with low vaccinations rates and where there are fewer hospitals.

The rules overlap in some places, for instance masks are already required in schools and Chicago schools require teacher vaccines. The mask order begins Monday and applies to everyone over age 2, regardless of vaccination status.

Meanwhile, Quincy Republican State Senator Jil Tracy criticized Gov. Pritzker for his continued, "go-it-alone" pandemic decision making.

Tracy says the changes to Illinois' COVID-19 mitigation plan are just the latest in a long series of policy changes the Governor has made without any input by state lawmakers or local officials

“With his record of 17 months of going it alone, and excluding other state and local leaders, Gov. Pritzker has failed the people of Illinois who will be better served by public input and more consideration of regional differences,” Tracy said. “Bringing others to the table and listening to their concerns will better reflect the conditions in our local communities, and make any further changes more acceptable to the public and thus more easily implemented.”

KEEP READING: Big Things, Small Illinois Town

LOOK: Here are the pets banned in each state

Because the regulation of exotic animals is left to states, some organizations, including The Humane Society of the United States, advocate for federal, standardized legislation that would ban owning large cats, bears, primates, and large poisonous snakes as pets.

Read on to see which pets are banned in your home state, as well as across the nation.

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