Some communities in Cook County push back proof of vax requirements – NBC Chicago
On the day that Cook County health officials announced new requirements for customers to show proof of vaccination in various indoor locations, leaders in several suburban communities opposed the warrants.
The new mandate will require patrons of indoor venues that serve food and drink, including restaurants, bars, cinemas and other businesses, to show proof of COVID vaccination before being allowed entry.
The rules are similar to those enacted by the city of Chicago earlier this week.
On the outskirts of Orland Park, Mayor Keith Pekau called the new tenure an “overrun” and said village officials will meet later this month to sort the situation out.
“I have a village of nearly 60,000 inhabitants to whom I report. I don’t need hardline Cook County government politicians telling me what’s best for Orland Park, ”he said in a statement.
Pekau called the new mandate an “information vacuum” and accused Cook County officials of letting politics guide their decision-making rather than data.
The new warrant comes as Illinois reported its largest daily increase in COVID cases, with nearly 19,000 cases of the virus reported in the past 24 hours.
Hospitalizations in the state are at their highest level in nearly a year, according to data from the IDPH, and authorities are defending the new vaccination requirements as a necessary step to counter the surge in cases.
“Earlier this year, we were hoping to be on track to finally put the pandemic behind us,” Cook County Council Chairman Toni Preckwinkle said in a statement. “Unfortunately, with the dual threat presented by the delta and omicron variants, and with cases, hospitalizations and deaths reaching new heights in Cook County, we must once again reassess and realign our strategies with what the science tells us. “
Elk Grove Village Mayor Craig Johnson, whose community announced earlier this year will not enforce state guidelines requiring masks in indoor spaces, said the village will not enforce such a measure requiring proof of COVID vaccination.
“We have to learn to live with it, take the necessary precautions, but we have to do without it, one, scare people and go too far,” he said.
Not all Cook County officials agree with the new regulations, including Commissioner Sean Morrison, who criticized the decision.
“If private sector companies want to put in place a vaccination policy for their own business, it is their right,” he said. “However, I do not support government interference in making the forced vaccination of private sector companies and their employees mandatory.”
The new mandate requires employees at indoor facilities to be fully vaccinated against COVID or to undergo weekly COVID tests as a condition of employment.
The measure will come into effect on January 3.