Covid vaccine requirement begins Monday in Chicago, Cook County

Coronavirus

CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago will require proof of a COVID-19 vaccine for indoor venues and Illinois Secretary of State offices will be closed starting Monday due to a surge in infections.

The proof of vaccine rules will apply to everyone age 5 and older and includes restaurants, bars, gyms and other indoor venues like sports and entertainment areas. The rules don’t apply to to those inside venues for less than 10 minutes, like those picking up takeout.

The Secretary of State office closures for in-person services begin Monday and will last until at least Jan. 18.

“The health and safety of employees and the public remains paramount, and face-to-face transactions potentially increase the further spread of the virus,” Secretary of State Jesse White said in a statement. He is encouraging people to make online transactions whenever possible, including for renewing a license plate sticker or driver’s license.

The move comes as Illinois and the rest of the country are seeing a surge in COVID-19 cases to the highest levels on record.

Anticipating a wave of COVID-19 patients, Gov. J.B. Pritzker is urging hospitals in the state to delay elective surgeries and non-emergency procedures to keep more beds open.

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