Evanston, Oak Park Join Suburban Communities in Enforcing Proof-of-Vax Rules

Skokie had also previously announced that it would also enforce its mandate

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The decision by officials in Cook County to implement proof-of-vaccination requirements to gain entry into indoor establishments has been met with pushback in some corners, but three suburban communities that didn’t have to adhere to the mandate are putting in place similar measures of their own.

Evanston and Oak Park, both of whom have their own health departments and are therefore not bound by Cook County mandates, will adopt the new mitigation rules beginning in January, according to officials.

Skokie, which also has its own health department, had also agreed to implement the policy in recent days.

In Evanston, the new rules will go into effect on Jan. 10, and will require customers at various indoor venues to furnish proof of COVID vaccination before they are allowed to enter.

The rule in Evanston will apply to businesses where food and drink are served for on-site consumption, such as restaurants, bars, entertainment venues and fitness facilities.

These mitigation measures will help reduce transmission in crowded indoor settings, and provide much-needed support to our strained health care system,” Health and Human Services Director Ike Ogbo said in a statement.

The day that Cook County health officials announced new requirements for customers to show proof-of-vaccination at various indoor venues, leaders in several suburban communities are pushing back against the mandates. NBC 5's Chris Coffey reports.

Oak Park will also adopt similar rules on Jan. 10, one week after the new mandate goes into effect in other suburban Cook County communities. The city of Chicago will also implement its new vaccination proof mandate on Jan. 3.

Valid proof of vaccination will include a vaccination card, or a digital or physical photo of a card. The village will also allow digital vaccination records on smartphones to be used for proof of vaccination, and will require residents to show proof of identification that corresponds to their vaccination card.

Skokie will also adopt the rules on Jan. 10, with all patrons over the age of five required to be fully vaccinated.

While the three communities are joining in on the mandates, several suburban towns will be defying the order. In Orland Park, the village board voted not to enforce Cook County’s vaccination-proof mandate, with officials calling the measure an example of “government overreach” that should be left up to individual businesses.

Burr Ridge officials have said that the community will not enforce the mandate.

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