Evanston issues vaccination mandate


Daily file illustration by Angeli Mittal

A mask and proof of vaccination will be required to enter Evanston dining, fitness and entertainment venues starting January 10.

Yiming Fu, City Editor

Starting Jan. 10, patrons of dining, fitness or entertainment venues in Evanston will need proof of COVID-19 vaccination to enter.

Those five years and older will need to show a Center for Disease Control COVID-19 vaccination card, a digital or physical photo, an app, or a digital immunization record of their vaccination. Those ages 16 and older must also bring a government ID with them, according to an Evanston Health and Human Services department news release. Accepted IDs include a passport, drivers license, work ID or school ID. 

The health department also requires businesses to post signage to inform customers about the new mandate and complete a policy compliance form. The city will host a virtual town hall on Tuesday, Jan. 4 at 3 p.m. to provide information and answer questions. 

This mandate comes after similar mandates enacted by the Chicago Department of Public Health, the Cook County Department of Public Health, and the Village of Skokie Health Department.

“​​These mitigation measures will help reduce transmission in crowded indoor settings, and provide much needed support to our strained healthcare system,”  Evanston’s Health and Human Services Director Ike Ogbo said. 

88% of hospital beds in suburban Cook County are filled, according to the news release. Over the last week, there was an average of 95 cases per day, with 6.81% of tests returning positive results. 

The U.S. hit a new record average of daily COVID cases this Tuesday, breaking the previous record from January. This rise in cases is fueled by the Omicron variant, which now accounts for the majority of COVID-19 cases in the U.S.

Vaccine appointments are available at local pharmacies, including Walgreens, CVS and Jewel Osco. They can also be found by going to vaccines.gov and entering a local ZIP code. 

Ogbo said vaccination remains the best form of protection against COVID-19. 

Mayor Daniel Biss said the new mandate was implemented to protect the local community. 

“Amid this latest surge in COVID-19 cases, these mitigations are necessary to slow the spread of this disease and keep each other safe,” Biss said. “I greatly appreciate our entire community’s efforts and continued adherence to public health guidance during this very challenging time.

93% of  Evanston residents 5 years and older have received at least one dose of the vaccine, and 84% are fully vaccinated.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @yimingfuu

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