Cook County health officials amend new COVID vaccine mandate, allowing some exemptions

ByABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Tuesday, January 4, 2022
Chicago, Cook Co. vaccine proof requirements take effect
Visiting many indoor places including bars and restaurants in Chicago and suburban Cook County now requires proof of vaccination.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Cook County amended its vaccination mitigation order Tuesday, allowing some to be exempt from the new rule that took effect Monday.

The video featured is from a previous report.

The amendment allows those 18 and younger to be exempt from vaccination for most athletic, recreation and fitness activities, according to tweet from the health department.

The vaccination rule originally followed a similar order implemented in Chicago, which mandates proof of vaccination for most indoor establishments, including restaurants, bars, gyms, as well as sports and entertainment venues.

RELATED: COVID vaccine proof in Chicago, Cook County for bars, restaurants and indoor venues takes effect

You can show proof of vaccination with a physical card, a picture of your card, or through the state's new Smart Health Card pass on your phone.

The rules also don't apply to those inside venues for less than 10 minutes, like those picking up takeout. They also do not apply for houses of worship.

READ: Full order from Cook County Department of Public Health

However, the mandate still applies to anyone five and older in Chicago. City officials say Chicago restaurants and businesses could face a costly fine for not properly posting or enforcing the new vaccine-only policy, or keeping a log of vaccinated employees.

The new proof of vaccination rule has raised some concerns for local businesses who are working out how to enforce it and avoid friction with customers.

Suburbs like Arlington Heights, Burr Ridge, Orland Park and now Tinley Park have all said they won't enforce the vaccine mandate.