Happy New Year Municipal Minute readers!  Welcome to 2022.

As many of you have heard, Cook County (as well as Chicago and a few suburban municipalities) recently adopted new vaccination mandates for patrons at restaurants, fitness facilities and gyms, and entertainment venues that become effective in 2022. Cook County Department of Public Health’s Mitigation Order No. 2021-11 takes effect today. In short, persons who consume food or beverages on-site at restaurants or bars (iclyding private clubs, country clubs, banquet halls, etc.) or who visit gyms and fitness facilities, or entertainment venues (movie theaters, theaters, arenas, skating rinks, bowling alleys, etc.) in Cook County must now show proof of vaccination and ID to the business or venue prior to entering. Proof of vaccination means a CDC vaccination card, an official immunization record from the jurisidiction where the vaccination was administered, an “app” that provides a digital record of vaccinations, or a digital or physical photo of the vaccination card. An individual is considered fully vaccinated under the Cook County orderr 2 weeks after receiving the second dose in a 2-dose series or 2 weeks after a single dose in a single dose series.

Late on New Years Eve, Cook County issued a press release updating its mandate to address concerns that had been raised with regard to youth athletics and recreation. The vaccination mandate now exempts the following:

  • persons 18 years of age or younger who are participating in an activity sponsored by a school, park district, child care, or after-school program
  • anyone participating in special recreation programs
  • spectators of indoor sporting events provided no food or drink is served and patrons remain masked at all times
The vaccination order also exempts a number of activities and venues, including food pick-up, those with medical exemptions, certain non-resident performing artists and athletes, houses of worship, schools, residential or office locations where the use is limited to residents, owners, or tenants, and charitable food service establishments.
The vaccination order and Cook County’s update on 12/31 both make it clear that masking is still required even with proof of vaccination.