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Palos Heights Mayor Bob Straz said it will be up to businesses in his city to comply with new mandate set by Cook County. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Palos Heights Mayor Bob Straz said it will be up to businesses in his city to comply with new mandate set by Cook County. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Palos Heights: Business owners must choose whether to comply with mandates

By Jeff Vorva

Palos Heights is not cracking down on businesses that violate Cook County COVID-19 mandates regarding proof of vaccinations.

But the city will help if asked.

Among the mandates, which started Monday, businesses including restaurants and gyms must have patrons show proof of vaccinations, which is a controversial topic for some. The Village of Orland Park board of trustees had a special meeting on Dec. 28 and voted unanimously to not enforce the mandates.

A reporting error in the Dec. 30 Regional said that the City of Palos Heights planned to comply with the mandates, but on Monday, Mayor Bob Straz clarified where the city stands.

“At the present time, it is the responsibility of each business to comply with the regulations as set forth by the county,” he said. “We will, however, respond to requests by our businesses to aid in any situations that may arise. This is what we have done with the mask regulations, and it seems to work well.”

In an effort to help stop the current COVID surge, the Cook County Department of Public Health issued an order requiring establishments that serve food or drink on-site along with health and fitness centers and other public venues to check the vaccination status of patrons. They are to allow entry only for fully-vaccinated people 5 and older. It also requires employees of businesses to be vaccinated or to provide a weekly negative COVID test.

Enforcing the mandates will be tricky. If communities choose not to have their police forces keeping an eye on the mandates, it will up to the county to do the enforcing.

Aside from Orland Park openly defying the orders, other south suburban officials said they were not going to monitor the situation, according to reports.

Straz was on a conference call with Cook County officials on Monday and relayed that Kiran Joshi, the co-leader of the Cook County Department of Public Health, said businesses could be fined for not complying.

Cook County documents also stated that further discipline could be handed down by the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office if there are multiple violations.

3 Comments

  1. hex on January 10, 2022 at 8:30 am

    orland Park will be getting my business from now on.

  2. Rose on January 10, 2022 at 10:47 am

    All these mandates for businesses is getting to be ridiculous! The government is putting these businesses out of business! It is our body and we should be able to choose if we want the vaccine or not, but it is the government pushing the vaccine. There is really not enough study to enforce the vaccine. Many people have become very ill and more medical problems exist after the vaccine. I for one am one. People need to just be careful and take precautions! But to actually fine businesses that don’t follow the mandates is ludicrous! Why this past year it was okay but now January 3, it’s not! People we need to stand up for our rights. Let’s not be controlled!

  3. David Ellison on January 13, 2022 at 9:07 am

    The businesses that do not comply can be fined by the Cook County Health Department. I do not like it neither but I do not want Covid 19.

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