Vaccination proof in restaurants? A look at what officials see as increasing COVID measures – NBC Chicago


As COVID measures continue to rise in Chicago and Illinois, what are authorities considering to help slow the spread?

Illinois Governor JB Pritzker said that while the state is constantly evaluating its options, it already has “some of the toughest mitigation measures.”

“It’s wearing masks indoors,” he said at an unrelated event on Tuesday. “This is what the mitigation regimen needs to be vaccinated wear a mask inside, you know, please, socially move away, especially if you don’t know the people you’re with. I know people congregate this holiday season, just be extra careful. “

Pritzker, however, encouraged local authorities to implement more stringent mitigation measures as they see fit.

“I encourage local officials based on, you know, the rate of transmission and the rate of infection in their area to consider more stringent mitigation measures than we have for the state,” he said. he declares.

Chicago is among the regions that are on their own considering additional mitigation measures as cases increase.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot said this week that city officials are considering various strategies and potential mitigation measures to help curb the spread of the virus.

Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr Allison Arwady said earlier this month that proof of vaccination for some activities and public places could be on the horizon, but Pritzker noted that such mitigations are not being considered statewide.

“I heard this is something the mayor is considering [of Chicago]. I also know New York City is requiring it now, from what I understand, “said Pritzker.” It’s not something that we do at the state level, but again, I think at the local level people should, you know, consider whatever mitigation measures are going to be most useful for their local citizens. ”

Lightfoot, speaking to media on Monday, said the city had not “landed on a particular strategy” to slow the spread of the virus, but that a variety of options were on the table.

“We’re looking at a number of different strategies that can help us deal with this latest wave, but we’re always doing it in partnership and communication with the individuals and businesses that are going to be affected,” she said. “We are not imposing anything unilaterally.”

Lightfoot and other public officials have expressed concern over the growing number of new cases in both the city and state of Illinois. Lightfoot says the city reported nearly 1,000 new cases of COVID as of Monday alone, prompting discussion of potential mitigation strategies.

“We didn’t land on one particular additional mitigation strategy over another. Obviously you see what’s going on across the country and the kind of tools that are being used locally to help mitigate the spread, but also to force some unvaccinated people to get vaccinated, ”he said. she declared.

While Lightfoot has been keen to rule out tougher measures, including full closures, it has also ruled out policies similar to those passed in New York City that would force all private companies to impose vaccination warrants on employees.

“We won’t see that here in the city of Chicago,” she said earlier this month. “And frankly, there is the question of whether something like that is going to support what will invariably be judicial review.”

Arwady said the city would consider requiring more businesses and venues to institute vaccination warrants for guests and ticket holders.

“Could we start requiring proof of vaccination for more activities and public spaces?” Yes, I think we could, ”she said. “I’m definitely more interested in that than the need to make some of the major saves. “

Sports venues in the city, including the United Center, have instituted vaccines or negative tests for ticket holders, but the idea is also gaining traction in other businesses, including restaurants and concert halls.

Even with these rules likely to gain popularity amid spikes in cases, some city officials, including 35e Ald district. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa, are also considering other ideas.

“One option would be to limit the number of people who can frequent a bar or restaurant. Cap at 50% maybe, or less, ”he said.

For now, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker has indicated that his administration’s primary focus will be the enforcement of existing mask warrants, but he has said he will not rule out additional measures to the to come up.

“We’re looking at everything that has been done over the past few years, but what we’re really focusing on is making sure people meet the masking requirements inside,” he said. . “Thank you to all (the residents) who do this. “

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