Cook County’s proof of vaccination requirement goes into effect January 3

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New order requires proof of vaccination for restaurants, bars, entertainment venues, and fitness facilities

Information provided by Cook County Department of Public Health

FOREST PARK, Ill. (December 27, 2021) – In response to the current COVID-19 surge of cases and hospitalizations in suburban Cook County, Cook County Department of Public Health (CCDPH) last week issued a new mitigation order for suburban Cook County. The order calls for proof of vaccination for customers of indoor settings where food or drink are served for on-premises consumption, like restaurants, bars, and entertainment venues, and in fitness facilities.

The order will go into effect on January 3, 2022.

Suburban Cook County is seeing over 500 new cases per 100,000 population daily and the test positivity rate is 7.8 percent as of last week. The ICU capacity is at 10.8 percent bed availability.

Under the order, businesses must display signage about the mitigations at every entrance and prominently within the facility. Businesses must develop a written protocol with details for how they will check vaccine status and how they will enforce this order. CCDPH will post sample language for this written protocol to its website.

“Earlier this year, we had hoped that we were on a path to finally put the pandemic behind us,” said Cook County Board President Preckwinkle. “But unfortunately, with the dual threat presented by the Delta and Omicron variants, and with cases, hospitalizations, and deaths rising to new heights across Cook County, we must once again reassess and re-align our strategies with what the science is telling us. And the science is clear — it will take all of us to beat COVID; people of all backgrounds, ethnicities, and faiths getting vaccinated and taking common sense measures to stop the spread of the virus.”

Businesses violating these orders will be subject to inspection and possible fines for violations. Many restaurants have already introduced these protective measures; this order will provide clarity to businesses and patrons throughout CCDPH’s jurisdiction in most of suburban Cook County.

Fitness centers include settings like health clubs, yoga studios, group fitness classes, recreation centers, and dance studios. Entertainment venues include movie theaters, concert venues, live theater and music spaces, sports arenas, bowling alleys, and arcades. Patrons in these facilities must remain masked and physically distant when possible.

“These measures are temporary, and we hope they are in effect for a very short time,” said Dr. Kiran Joshi, CCDPH Co-Lead and Senior Medical Officer. “While there is so much that remains unknown about Omicron, we do know that our healthcare system is being severely strained. We are implementing these measures to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 and prevent severe illness requiring hospitalization.”

For more information and resources regarding Mitigation Order 2021-11, visit the Mitigation Page.

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