Amid a surge in COVID-19 cases in Evanston and across the state, the City of Evanston’s Health & Human Services Department on Dec. 30 issued a new mitigation order requiring proof of vaccination for customers of indoor settings where food and drink are served for on-site consumption, such as restaurants, bars and entertainment venues, and in fitness facilities. The order, which is effective Jan. 10, is in line with similar orders issued by the Chicago Department of Public Health, Cook County Department of Public Health and Village of Skokie Health Department.
Evanston’s current seven-day moving average of confirmed daily cases is more than 95 cases per day, with a test positivity rate of 6.81%. ICU bed availability in suburban Cook County is currently 12%.
“As COVID-19 cases surge in Evanston and throughout the Chicago area, vaccination remains our strongest protection against severe illness and hospitalization from this highly contagious virus,” said Health & Human Services Director Ike Ogbo. “These mitigation measures will help reduce transmission in crowded indoor settings, such as dining and fitness facilities, and provide much needed support to our strained healthcare system.”
“Throughout the pandemic, Evanstonians have come together to support and protect one another,” said Mayor Daniel Biss. “Amid this latest surge in COVID-19 cases, these mitigations are necessary to slow the spread of this disease and keep each other safe. I greatly appreciate our entire community’s efforts and continued adherence to public health guidance during this very challenging time.”
Businesses and venues subject to the order must display signage notifying patrons of the requirements at every entrance and prominently within the facility. The City of Evanston has created an example sign that businesses and venues may print and display. Businesses and venues should also complete the City’s Proof of Vaccination Compliance Plan to indicate how they will implement the order.
Establishments subject to the order include all indoor settings where food and drink are served for on-premises consumption, such as restaurants, breweries, coffee shops, event spaces, movie theaters and performance spaces, as well as recreation and exercise facilities, such as health clubs, gyms, fitness studios and recreation centers.
The order does not apply to individuals 18 years or younger entering a location to participate in a K-12 school activity or after-school program. Other exemptions for individuals and businesses can be found in the City’s order.
All individuals two years of age or older continue to be required to wear a mask in all public indoor settings, as per the City’s face covering order, which remains in effect.
The City will hold a virtual Q&A for business owners and employees at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 4 to provide information and answer questions regarding the new mitigations.
Overview of new mitigations:
- Qualifying businesses and venues must require individuals five and older to show proof they are fully vaccinated to enter
- Businesses and venues must also require patrons 16 and older to show a valid government-issued ID, such as a driver’s license or passport, or a school or work ID with a photo.
- Businesses and venues must post signage making patrons aware of the requirements at all entrances and prominently within the establishment
- Employees of qualifying establishments must be fully vaccinated OR show weekly proof of a negative COVID-19 test
- Businesses and venues should complete a Proof of Vaccination Compliance Plan or create one to document plan implementation and enforcement
Proof of vaccination may include:
- CDC COVID-19 vaccination card or
- Official immunization record from the jurisdiction where the vaccine was administered or
- App providing a digital vaccination record or
- Digital or physical photo of their vaccination card or record
An individual is fully vaccinated:
- Two weeks after their second dose in a two-dose series with an approved COVID-19 vaccine, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines
- Two weeks after a single-dose series with an approved COVID-19 vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine
- Note: A booster shot is not required, however individuals are encouraged to get a booster shot as soon as they are eligible
For more information, visit cityofevanston.org/covid19 or call/text 847-448-4311. For convenience, residents may simply dial 311 in Evanston.