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'It Is Not OK To Defy The Order,' Top Cook County Doc Says As Some Suburbs Choose Not To Enforce COVID-19 Proof Of Vaccination Mandate

CHICAGO (CBS) -- We are 10 days into the new COVID-19 vaccine mandate rules for many indoor businesses in Chicago and Cook County – and the county as of Thursday had yet to cite a single business for violating the rules.

As CBS 2's Tara Molina reported, some Cook County suburbs are openly defying the county vaccine mandate – so what are Cook County leaders doing about it?

Molina asked the top doc at Cook County Health how the mandate is being enforced and what she has to say to those defiant village mayors.

Burr Ridge is one of the communities openly violating the Cook County order on vaccine-checks for businesses.

Mayor Gary Grasso told CBS 2, "Burr Ridge is not asking our businesses and restaurants to require vax cards to enter their establishments." The decision has been left up to the business.

Some Burr Ridge businesses posted signs that they are choosing compliance.

Meanwhile, the message in Orland Park is defiance. Trustees actually voted to defy the county mandate.

Before the mandate even went into effect, Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau said, "If the state or county wants to come take us to court over it, I suppose they can."

Tinley Park leaders have made similar statements, but didn't respond to our requests for comment.
So, how does open violation of a county order work?

The Cook County Department of Public Health told us Wednesday, "We do not disclose numbers of complaints, warnings or citations" when we asked about enforcement.

So Molina followed up.

"It's not OK to defy the order," said Dr. Rachel Rubin, senior medical officer and co-lead of the Cook County Department of Public Health. "In those communities and in any other, we will be investigating or referring for investigation every credible complaint we receive."

Rubin said since Jan. 3, no business has been cited. But the county has investigated complaints, and some have been warned.

"The State's Attorney's office – they're the ones that under the appropriate authority can issue fines," Rubin said.

We took an even closer look. The county health order clearly states those in violation can be penalized. The code referenced, cites a possible misdemeanor charge or $1,000 fine.

So far, we are told the county has only communicated directly with Orland Park.

But Dr. Rubin's had a message for everyone.

"We don't want to get into arguments about this," she said. "We do understand People's concerns about wanting to keep businesses open, but we also want to keep people safe."

Molina has a public records request out to the county to get more information on complaints and inspections, and we are still waiting on a similar request from the city of Chicago.

For the City of Chicago, the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection issued this statement naming all the businesses that have been cited for violating the city proof of vaccination mandate since Monday, Jan. 3:

From Monday, January 3 through Wednesday, January 12, the Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP) issued 32 citations to 16 establishment for failure to abide by Public Health Order No. 2021-2 (Proof of Vaccination in Public Places).

Establishments who violate the Chicago mask mandate or the Chicago Vaccine Requirement can be issued two citations for violating the BACP and Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) requirements under Public Health Order No. 2021-01 and Public Health Order No. 2021-02. The enforcement of the Vaccine Requirement is no different than the Mask Mandate, previous public health orders, or general operations.

From January 3 through January 12 the following establishment was issued an Administrative Notice of Violation/Citation for violating the Chicago Vaccine Requirement:
• Reach Fieldhouse, 1601-1603 W. Chicago Ave.
• La Quebrada #3, Inc.,5100-5102 S. California Ave.
• Vianna Brothers Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy, 2128 N. Milwaukee Ave.
• Kids Empire, 4938 S. Kedzie Ave.
• Captain Hooks, 1600 W. 13th St.
• Kamehachi, 1531 N. Wells St.
• Outdoor Grill, 3265 N. Milwaukee Ave.
• Hollywood Grill, 1601 W. North Ave.
• McDonald's, 10 E. Chicago Ave.
• Snap Fitness, 24/7, 1212 S. Michigan Ave.
• Goldfish Swim School of Wicker Park, 1930 W. Hubbard St.
• The Halal Guys, 49 W. Division St.
• L & G Restaurant, 2632 E 75th St
• Planet Fitness, 4327-4331 S. Pulaski Rd.
• China Ho Restaurant, 5151 S. Pulaski Rd.
• La Borra Del Cafe Delaware, 10 E. Delaware Pl.

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