CHICAGO (CBS) — North suburban Evanston will require customers age 5 and up to show proof of vaccination against COVID-19 to visit restaurants, bars, gyms, and other indoor businesses that serve food or drinks starting Jan. 10.

The requirements are similar to those recently announced for the city of Chicago and suburban Cook County, where the proof of vaccination mandate will begin one week earlier, on Jan. 3.

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Evanston is one of only a few suburbs with its own health department, meaning it sets its own local public health rules.

Evanston’s proof of vaccination requirement covers all indoor businesses where food and drinks are served; including restaurants, bars, 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 comes amid a surge in COVID-19 cases in Evanston and across the state.

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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 percent.

“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.”

Businesses covered by the proof of vaccination mandate in Evanston must post signs notifying customers of the requirements. 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.

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The order does not apply to people age 18 and under if they are 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.

Source: CBS Chicago

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