Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot (D), declared that businesses now require patrons to prove proof of vaccination, even children as young as five years old. “Despite our diligent, equitable, and timely vaccine distribution efforts throughout the year, unfortunately, our city continues to witness a surge in COVID-19 Delta, and now omicron case,” said the Democrat mayor Tuesday. He announced the new city vaccine requirement that will take effect on January 3.
She continued, stating that “new steps must be taken in order to protect the well-being of our residents” and calling vaccine requirements “necessary.”
She said, “This public health order that requires proof of vaccination to enter certain indoor public places” was necessary to allow us to continue enjoying our city’s many amenities in the new year. Individuals aged five years and over must show proof of complete vaccination.
“This new requirement won’t eliminate COVID risk but it will help ensure that a safer indoor environment is created for fully vaccinated Chicagoans as well as employees working in these higher-risk settings,” CDPH Commissioner Allison Arwady stated in a statement to unvaccinated Chicagoans.
We must make this move now, as we enter the winter months. Omicron is a vaccine that protects against severe illness and hospitalization. However, Omicron and breakthrough cases are likely to increase. The hundreds of thousands of Chicagoans still without a COVID vaccine or who haven’t recovered from their COVID infection are what worry me the most. I am concerned for their health as well as the risk they pose for our health and that of others. We must reduce this worrying surge.
According to the mayor’s office, Chicago has an indoor mask mandate that will remain in effect until the City of Chicago has experienced the Omicron-driven surge. Chicago is following New York City’s lead and now requires children under five years old to present proof of vaccination to be able to take part in everyday activities such as dining in an indoor restaurant.
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser (D), announced Wednesday that patrons of bars, nightclubs, and indoor entertainment venues, gyms, and other meeting places must be vaccinated.