Several Chicago city councilors are asking the city to require proof of vaccination for people visiting indoor public places, a move already passed in other cities like New York.
Aldermen said they were writing in favor of Chicago demanding proof of COVID-19 vaccination “for people visiting indoor public places like restaurants, bars, cinemas, gyms and concert halls,” according to one copy of letter sent Thursday. New York City, New Orleans, San Francisco and Puerto Rico have issued such demands, they noted.
“We believe it is time for Chicago to do the same given: (1.) the uncontrolled community transmission of the Delta variant, (2.) the threat of new variants, (3.) the approach of a colder weather that will drive Chicagoans indoors and (4.) free and readily available COVID-19 vaccines approved by the FDA and cleared for emergencies.
It is not clear whether the city will implement such a mandate. The mayor’s office did not immediately return a message seeking comment.
In response to questions, a city spokesperson issued a non-binding statement.
“We continue to monitor the data on a daily basis and will adapt public health guidelines as appropriate, as we have done throughout the pandemic,” the public health department said.
Lightfoot has faced a complicated balancing act in the face of the pandemic. She encouraged residents to get vaccinated and warned of possible restrictions if the city sees spikes, and then put in place a mask warrant after initially issuing a recommendation. But she also made a point of emphasizing her desire to keep the city as open as possible. Sometimes this has led to mixed messages.
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