by Todd Feurer, CBS Chicago web producer

CHICAGO (CBS) — Eight members of the Chicago City Council who sit on the Committee on Health are asking Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady to require people to show proof of vaccination to enter public indoor settings like restaurants, bars, theaters, and gyms.

“In the interest of public health, New York City, San Francisco, New Orleans, and Puerto Rico have all begun requiring proof of vaccination for persons visiting public indoor settings,” the aldermen wrote in their letter. “We believe it is time for Chicago to do the same.”

The letter sites the continuing spread of the more contagious delta variant of COVID-19, the threat of other variants, looming colder weather driving more people indoors, and the easy availability of vaccines.

The following aldermen signed on to the letter: Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35th), Ald. Byron Sigcho-Lopez (25th), Ald. Scott Waguespack (32nd), Ald. Rossana Rodriguez-Sanchez (33rd), Ald. Andre Vasquez (40th),
Ald. Michele Smith (43rd), Ald. Matt Martin (47th), and Ald. Maria Hadden (49th).

Arwady’s office and Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s office did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The city already requires people to wear masks in public indoor settings, regardless of vaccination status, but does not require proof of vaccination.

However, many restaurants, bars, and other businesses have set their own rules requiring customers to show proof of vaccination before entry. That includes the United Center and the Lyric Opera.

Lightfoot also has said she plans to require all city employees to be fully vaccinated by Oct. 15, although she has said the details are still being worked out with the city’s various labor unions, and the mayor has yet to say what consequences city workers might face if they refuse.

The Fraternal Order of Police has said they will fight any vaccine mandate for officers, and the Chicago Federation of Labor, which is affiliated with many of the labor unions representing city workers, also has warned against requiring vaccinations, claiming such a mandate could “harden opposition to the vaccine instead of protecting the workers who have sacrificed so much over the past 18 months.”

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