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Some Southland park districts requiring vaccination proof at fitness facilities to comply with Cook County rules
Daily Southtown

Monday, January 03, 2022
Chicago Tribune
by Mike Nolan

That New Year’s resolution to get in shape will require proof of vaccination at some south and southwest suburban fitness centers operated by park districts.

Districts in Oak Lawn, Olympia Fields and Tinley Park have put new policies into effect regarding the use of their fitness centers and event spaces under Cook County’s new proof-of-vaccination mandate.

 

Health officials in Chicago and suburban Cook County instituted the requirement as of Monday in restaurants and bars, as well as in health clubs, fitness centers and event spaces where food and beverages are served.

The requirement has already resulted in the cancellation of one event at the Olympia Fields Park District’s Bradford Barn, an event space in the district’s Sergeant Means Park, 20712 Western Ave., according to Jesus Vargas, the district’s executive director.

“It’s going to have an impact on park districts with events being canceled,” he said Monday.

The county mandate requires proof of vaccination for those 5 and older entering a health club or fitness center, and those 16 and older need to show identification, such as a driver’s license, that matches the vaccination information.

 

The Oak Lawn Park District is requiring proof of vaccination for its Racquet, Fitness and Gymnastics Center, 10444 Central Ave., and to use the walking track and fitness center at its Community Pavilion, 9401 Oak Park Ave.

The Tinley Park Park District is requiring proof of vaccination for use of certain facilities inside its Tony Bettenhausen Recreation Center, 8125 W. 171st St., including the fitness center.

Orland Park won’t enforce the vaccination requirement at indoor fitness and recreational facilities it operates, including the Sportsplex, 11351 W. 159th St., and the Orland Park Health & Fitness Center, 15430 West Ave., according to a village spokeswoman.

Orland Park officials last week voted to support a resolution opposing the county’s mandate and Mayor Keith Pekau said no village resources would be used to enforce it.

The Cook County Department of Public Health has modified rules concerning youth sports at schools and park districts.

Those 18 and younger participating in youth sports will not need to show proof of vaccination, nor will spectators for such sporting events provided food and beverages are not being provided and spectators remain masked.

The Children’s Museum in Oak Lawn said visitors won’t have to show proof of vaccination, but that it is making changes in light of Cook County’s mandate.

The museum’s multipurpose room will be available only for nursing mothers, and visitors won’t be allowed to have snacks or meals inside the building, 5100 Museum Drive.

The facility also hosts private events such as birthday parties, and if food and drinks are being served, those attending will need to show proof of vaccination, according to the new policy.

 



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