Citing rising COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths, suburban Cook County officials announced Thursday patrons age 5 and up entering restaurants, bars, gyms and movie theaters, among other venues, will need to show proof of vaccination against COVID-19 starting Jan. 3.
Cook County officials said every hospitalization and death at this point “is entirely preventable” and again urged residents to roll up their sleeves. “Please, get vaccinated,” said Cook County Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Ponni Arunkumar. “You will make a difference.”
Cook County residents, including Chicagoans, can now get a free ride to a nearby vaccination site, thanks to the new “Destination: Vaccination” program.
“To any who have been hesitating about being vaccinated, please I implore you to hesitate no longer. We’re very concerned about the spread of this so-called delta variant,” said Dr. Kiran Joshi of the Cook County Department of Public Health. “Please go out, get vaccinated.”
Opioid-related overdoses in Cook County increased by more than 40% last year. While this spike began in December 2019 — before COVID-19 was widespread — the pandemic accelerated the trend. We discuss the state of the opioid epidemic in the Chicago area.