Cook County easing restrictions on outdoor activities, proms, weddings, more
Relaxed restrictions on outdoor activities will allow more suburban Cook County residents to participate in outdoor festivals, proms and weddings, public health officials said Thursday.
The Cook County Department of Public Health announced changes effective Friday and resulting from decreasing COVID-19 cases, including severe ones. The state is currently in Phase 4 of the reopening.
"We're able to ease mitigations within Phase 4 for a number of reasons, including a recent decline in cases, hospitalizations and deaths, as well as nearly 1 million residents, or more than 50% of eligible residents, who have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine," said Dr. Rachel Rubin, Cook County's senior public health medical officer.
The latest rules affecting outdoor events allow up to 100 people or 50% of capacity, whichever is less, at occasions such as weddings, proms and potlucks.
Fully vaccinated people will be exempted from capacity counts for private social gatherings.
The county is also raising capacity for indoor and outdoor concerts, plays and other performances in large spaces.
But at smaller indoor venues, accommodating less than 200 people, rules remain in place requiring 50% capacity with no more than 50 people.
In addition, indoor restaurant capacity will increase to 50% capacity or 100 customers, whichever is less.
Cook County health officials also announced that all Mondays in May, starting May 3, will be Restaurant Worker Vaccination Day to help an industry hard hit by the pandemic.
The county's six mass vaccination sites will be open to all restaurant workers in Illinois 16 years and older. "There are plenty of appointments if people want to book in advance for convenience, but they can also walk in," a spokeswoman said.