Oak Park, Evanston join Highland Park in adopting COVID-19 proof-of-vaccination requirements

ByABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Friday, December 31, 2021
Cook County COVID: Orland Park mayor wants businesses to decide whether to follow new vaccine mandate
As the new Cook County COVID vaccine mandate nears, Orland Park board members will vote on whether to allow businesses to enforce the mitigations.

COOK COUNTY, Ill. (WLS) -- Oak Park and Evanston have joined Highland Park in adopting proof-of-vaccination mandates for indoor dining, fitness and entertainment facilities.

All three suburban communities were not required to adhere to Cook County's vaccination requirement for indoor activities, which begins on Monday, Jan. 3. But their individual health departments decided to adopt similar mitigation measures, with Highland Park's mandate set to take effect on Jan. 7. New requirements for Evanston and Oak Park businesses are effective Jan. 10, one week after the start of Cook County's mandate.

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Evanston Mayor Daniel Biss said the new rules are necessary "to slow the spread of this disease and keep each other safe." An Evanston press release said the city will hold a virtual Q&A for business owners and employees on Tuesday, Jan. 4 to provide information and answer questions regarding the new mitigations.

"We are taking these temporary steps to mitigate the impact on our increasingly burdened health care system," Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering said in a statement, citing rising COVID-19 cases. She added that "the city remains committed to partnering with business owners to provide support as they continue to weather the economic impacts and short- and long-term consequences of the pandemic."

SEE ALSO | Orland Park, Arlington Heights mayors want to leave Cook Co. COVID vaccine mandate up to businesses

Still, some suburban communities have already taken steps to defy Cook County's proof-of-vaccination requirement. The Village Board in Orland Park voted 6-0 to not enforce the mandate. Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau has been outspoken against many mitigation efforts throughout the pandemic.

The video in the player above is from a previous report.