Orland Park

Orland Park Votes Not to Enforce Cook County Proof-of-Vaccination Mandate

Businesses find themselves stuck in the middle of a tug of war.

NBCUniversal Media, LLC

In less than a week, Cook County’s proof of vaccination mandate will take effect putting Orland Park businesses in the middle of a tug of war between the county's edict and the vote of village trustees not to enforce the measure.

On Tuesday night, Orland Park trustees voted to defy the county’s upcoming proof of vaccination mandate, which is set to begin on Monday.

Now, businesses must choose whether to follow the county, or risk fines by following the village’s rules.

El Mezcal Restaurant is one of the many businesses facing this decision. As of Wednesday, owner Juan Herrera didn’t know which government entity to follow. A translator told NBC 5 that he plans to continue current safety measures including masking and sanitizing.

On Tuesday night, Mayor Keith Pekau said the mandate was another example of government overreach, blasting Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle for putting the burden of enforcement on a stretched police force.

“I’m shocked that they wouldn’t even consider our officers when asking them to spend their time targeting law abiding businesses at the expense of doing real police work,” said Mayor Pekau.

Orland Park Police Chief Joe Mitchell also criticized the mandate, pointing out that it is an “unfunded” responsibility placed on his officers.

“I simply do not have nor would I devote crucial resources to this new ill-advised policy,” said Chief Mitchell. “The time and efforts of department personnel are better suited to implementing efficient and effective policies and procedures.”

As of Wednesday, Preckwinkle didn’t directly respond to the village or NBC 5 news. Last week, county officials said repeat violators of the mandate would face inspection and could have cases sent to the state’s attorney’s office for review.

The proof of vaccination mandate applies to most indoor dining, entertainment, and recreation facilities. It will require these businesses to ask every guest entering their space to show proof of full vaccination until further notice.

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