North suburban hotel under investigation after hosting wedding indoors, Cook County officials say

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Cook County health officials announced Thursday that a hotel likely violated state and county health regulations during the pandemic after a wedding was held there Wednesday.

"If food was served, and we understand it was, that it violates the indoor dining, it also violations the prohibition of large communal events in public spaces," said Dr. Rachel Rubin, Co-Lead & Senior Medical Officer for the Cook County Department of Public Health.

The wedding was booked at the Hilton Chicago Northbrook.

"Last evening, the Hilton Chicago/Northbrook hosted a family wedding with approximately 150 people in attendance. While the event was booked prior to the implementation of the state's latest mitigation measures, we sincerely regret allowing this gathering to proceed and our family apologizes to our guests, employees, and the Chicagoland community," said Holly Allgauer-Cir, General Manager, Hilton Chicago/Northbrook in a statement.

"The coronavirus pandemic has created unprecedented challenges for the hospitality industry and our family-owned business. However, our hope to keep the hotel afloat and employees working should not outweigh health and safety," she said.

"We were shocked to learn that one of our independently owned and operated hotels chose to host an event that disregarded both local regulations and Hilton's brand standards," Hilton Hotels released in a statement.

The president of the Illinois Hotel and Lodging Association also spoke to the owners.

"They realized they made a mistake," said Michael Jacobson President & CEO, IL Hotel and Lodging Association. "They realize it was a total lapse in judgment. I know they are looking at all their bookings in the future."

Health officials said the wedding party and guests will not be cited, just the hotel's owners.

Health officials said they are also concerned about the health of those who attended.

"The risk for transmission and making this a super spreader event is actually probably significant," Rubin said. "What needs to be done is that everybody, and I hope they're listening to this, they need to quarantine themselves for 14 days."
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