By Ann Nguyen, The Chicago Times
December 23, 2021
CHICAGO – Days after Mayor Lightfoot announced further vaccination mandates for Chicago, The Cook County Department of Public Health issued a new mitigation order Thursday requiring customers of indoor places where food and drink are provided to show vaccination identification papers.
The dictate will take effect on January 3 for venues such as restaurants, pubs, and entertainment venues, and exercise facilities. The order was issued in reaction to the current COVID-19 increase of cases and hospitalizations in suburban Cook County, according to the agency.
Businesses must post notice describing the mitigations at every entry and conspicuously throughout the premises, according to the dictate. In addition, businesses must prepare a documented procedure outlining how they will monitor immunization status and implement this requirement.
The dictate also states that businesses violating these restrictions will be subject to inspection and possibly penalties. Many restaurants have already implemented these safeguards; this directive attempts to offer clarity to businesses and consumers throughout CCDPH’s authority, which includes the majority of suburban Cook County.
Health clubs, yoga studios, group exercise programs, recreation facilities, and dance studios are examples of fitness centers. Movie theaters, concert halls, live theater and music spaces, sports arenas, bowling alleys, and arcades are examples of entertainment venues. Patrons at these institutions must remain veiled and physically far as much as possible, according to the agency.
According to Dr. Kiran Joshi, CCDPH Co-Lead and Senior Medical Officer, claims these measure are temporary “These are temporary measures, and we hope they are only in place for a short period.” Yet some have pointed out that many temporary measures put in place, even in highly vaccinated areas, are still with us since March 2020.