Cook County, following Chicago’s lead, will impose a COVID-19 vaccination requirement for customers of restaurants, bars, entertainment venues and fitness centers beginning Jan. 3.
The county’s announcement Thursday came as Illinois reported a single-day record of 18,942 new coronavirus cases. Another 78 people died of the disease, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.
The number of people in Illinois hospitalized for the virus – 4,271 – is the highest it’s been all year. And average intensive care bed availability remained at a low 11% statewide.
Under the order issued by the county’s Health Department, businesses must require anyone 5 years old or older to show proof they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Fully vaccinated means they are two weeks removed from their second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson.
Booster shots are not currently required, but that could change if the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention changes the definition of “fully vaccinated” to include a booster shot, said Dr. Rachel Rubin, a senior medical officer with the county’s Health Department.