Dec. 22, 2021 - Oak Park health officials are considering a range of additional mitigation measures as COVID-19 case rates near all-time highs both in Oak Park and throughout the region due to the rapid spread of the Omicron variant.
The Oak Park Health Department announced today that 333 new COVID-19 cases were reported among residents in the week of Dec. 15-21, which is nearly triple the 123 cases reported the previous week.
One mitigation measure under consideration is a vaccine requirement like the one announced by the city of Chicago earlier this week that requires individuals age 5 and older to show proof of vaccination to dine indoors, visit gyms or enter entertainment venues where food and drink are being served starting in early January.
With nearly 80 percent of Oak Park residents fully vaccinated and breakthrough cases making up a large share of the local case rate, local health officials are assessing whether such a vaccine requirement would serve as an effective mitigation measure.
However, if surrounding communities in suburban Cook County adopt Chicago’s vaccine requirement, Oak Park will consider following suit to avoid being an outlier in the region and potentially attracting high numbers of unvaccinated visitors.
In the meantime, the Oak Park Health Department will be administering free COVID-19 rapid antigen tests this Thursday, Dec. 23 at two locations.
The Health Department’s mobile response van will be parked from 2 to 3 p.m. at Stevenson Park, 49 Lake Street and from 3:30 p.m. to dusk in the 1100 block of Westgate Street just west of Marion Street in downtown Oak Park. No appointments necessary, but supplies are limited.
Given the extremely high COVID-19 transmission rate, health officials recommend residents test for COVID-19 before gathering with friends and family for the holidays or if they think they may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19.
Health officials also recommend layering proven COVID-19 mitigation measures, which include limiting high-risk exposures, wearing masks indoors and in crowded outdoor settings and maintaining social distance from people who don’t live in your household. More information is at www.oak-park.us/reducethespread.
For the latest Oak Park COVID-19 updates, including local testing status bulletins, case data and other related information, visit www.oak-park.us/covid19.