The City’s temporary requirement that everyone age 5 and older show proof of COVID-19 vaccination when dining at on-premises dining establishments goes into effect today, Friday, January 7. Individuals with a medical exemption may show proof of a negative COVID-19 test administered by a medical professional within the last 24 hours. The measure does not apply to people visiting a restaurant for less than ten minutes for ordering or picking up food, making a delivery, or using the washroom.
The order applies to restaurants and other businesses where food and drink are served on site because people must remove their masks to eat, and according to the CDC, masks are an effective non-pharmaceutical intervention that help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Requiring proof of vaccination in this setting is intended to reduce the spread of COVID-19, protect the vulnerable such as those who are immunocompromised and children who are too young to be vaccinated, and prevent additional strain on our healthcare system, which has already resulted in the temporary suspension of elective surgeries and a realignment of healthcare services to respond to the wave of COVID-19 hospitalizations.
As of January 6, 2022, IDPH reports that the current 7-day rolling positivity rate in Lake County is 16.5%, and that ICU availability in Region 9 (Lake & McHenry Counties) stands at 15%. As a reminder, IDPH targets are less than 8% positivity rate, and ICU bed availability of more than 20%. IDPH recommends using these indicators to consider community mitigation interventions to control the spread of COVID-19. The City continues to consult with public health officials at the Lake County Health Department and the Illinois Department of Public Health in monitoring and interpreting these metrics. IDPH data is available online at dph.illinois.gov.
Although vaccinated people can catch and transmit COVID-19, they are far less likely to experience severe illness or require critical care. According to the Lake County Health Department, vaccinated individuals are 6x less likely to become infected, 11x less likely to be hospitalized, and 14x less likely to die from COVID-19 than unvaccinated adults. Temporarily requiring proof of COVID-19 vaccination for on-premises dining, where masks are removed for extended periods of time, balances the need to take action to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our area with the strong desire to support our local business community in remaining open for service.The City’s local order mirrors local regulations in Evanston, Skokie, and Chicago, as well as that of Cook County, which impacts all Cook County communities. For more information, including an FAQ and resources for business owners, visit cityhpil.com/covid-19. Questions regarding this temporary requirement may be directed to the City Manager’s Office, at 847.926.1000 or email@example.com.