Covid vaccine requirement begins Monday in Chicago, Cook County

CHICAGO (AP) – Chicago will require proof of a COVID-19 vaccine for indoor sites and the offices of the Illinois Secretary of State will be closed from Monday due to an upsurge in infections.

The proof of vaccination rules will apply to all persons aged 5 years and over and will include restaurants, bars, gyms and other indoor places like sports and entertainment areas. The rules do not apply to people inside the premises for less than 10 minutes, such as those who have take out.

The closure of the Secretary of State’s office for in-person services begins Monday and will last until at least January 18.

“The health and safety of employees and the public remain paramount, and face-to-face transactions potentially increase the spread of the virus,” Secretary of State Jesse White said in a statement. It encourages people to transact online where possible, including renewing a license plate sticker or driver’s license.

The move comes as Illinois and the rest of the country see an increase in COVID-19 cases to the highest levels on record.

Anticipating a wave of COVID-19 patients, Governor JB Pritzker is urging state hospitals to delay elective surgeries and elective procedures to keep more beds open.

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