Aug. 5, 2021 – Citing the recent increase in positive COVID-19 cases, Oak Park Public Health Director Theresa Chapple-McGruder, Ph.D., today ordered all individuals over age 2 who can medically tolerate it to wear a mask in public indoor spaces, regardless of vaccination status, beginning Fri., Aug. 6.
The new requirement applies to all businesses, multi-family residential buildings, health care settings, nursing homes, long-term care facilities, shelters, congregate settings, government buildings and on all forms of public transportation including in transportation stations and hubs.
“The Village has experienced a 750% increase in COVID-19 cases in July 2021 as compared to June 2021. Therefore, I have determined that additional mitigation measures are necessary under Phase 5 to protect the public health pursuant to my authority,” the order issued today by Dr. Chapple-McGruder states.
Oak Park had 83 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in July, compared to 11 in June. Based on the widely accepted public health metric of cases per 100,000, local officials say Oak Park has substantial transmission of COVID-19.
The rate per 100,000 cases currently is 71 in Oak Park, which officials say indicates the need to take actions such as masking in public indoor spaces to limit further spread.
Individuals are not required to wear a mask while actively eating or drinking in restuarants and other public indoor settings that serve food and drink.
In addition to requiring masks in public indoor spaces, Dr. Chapple-McGruder also is recommending that individuals wear masks outdoors if they are not able to maintain at least a six-foot distance from other individuals not from the same household, a recommendation that applies to playgrounds and other recreational spaces.
Getting more people vaccinated is the key to slowing the spread of COVID-19, according to public health officials. All of the approved vaccines have proven effective against COVID-19 mutations, including the more contagious Delta variant.
About 30,300 residents have received at least one dose of a two-dose vaccine, which is about 58 percent of all residents and only a slight increase over last week’s data. About 29,500 residents are fully vaccinated, according to state data released yesterday.
Hoping to make getting vaccinated even easier and more convenient, the Oak Park Health Department is taking vaccination opportunities on the road next week to the high school and downtown Oak Park.
The Health Department’s mobile response van will be at Oak Park and River Forest High School from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m., on Mon., Aug. 9 and in downtown Oak Park from 6 to 9 p.m., on Thurs., Aug. 12, at the popular Thursday Night Out weekly dining event.
COVID-19 vaccines also are widely available to everyone age 12 and older through pharmacies, medical care providers and other resources – click here for links to a wide range of vaccination options.
For the latest information about the Village’s vaccination efforts, visit www.oak-park.us/vaccine. Questions about the upcoming vaccination events also can be sent via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.