13 Chicago businesses have been issued 26 citations for violating the COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate – How does enforcement work? – Greeley Tribune

Chicago (CBS) – New evidence from the city’s COVID-19 vaccination mandate for restaurants, gyms and some entertainment venues has resulted in 26 citations over a one-and-a-half-week period.

So how is it being enforced, and what does that enforcement look like? CBS 2’s Tara Molina has been tracking the issue for weeks, and on Wednesday received new information from the city and county.

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Earlier this month, when the vaccination order went into effect on Monday, January 3, posters and notices serving food and drink appeared at every Chicago restaurant, gym, and entertainment venue.

We heard concerns from business owners in the days before the mandate – so how has it been? We’ve heard mixed reviews.

“We’re just trying to comply, keep your license, and don’t get fined,” Leonard DeFranco, owner of Hockey’s Bar and Grill at 1458 W. Taylor St., told CBS 2’s Sharda Gray on Tuesday, January 4.

So we turned to the City and Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection — the office responsible for compliance, licensing and fines.

So far, he has cited 13 businesses in the city as failing to comply with the requirement, issuing 26 citations a week and half of the requirement.

BACP will not conduct an interview with us, or tell us if they randomly checked any businesses. He said all of his investigations are motivated by complaints – but would not say how many 311 complaints he had received or how many investigations he had conducted.

The BACP said they can issue two citations to any business that violates the requirement, clarifying the 13 businesses cited 26 times since the requirement went into effect.

The department also said that investigations may be conducted in secret, but investigators will always identify themselves.

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“January is always a tough month for restaurants in downtown Chicago,” said Sam Toya, president and CEO of the Illinois Restaurant Association.

Toya said his organization has heard about enforcement from Chicago-area owners, but has no specifics.

“They are disappointed,” he said.

Toya told Molina that the Illinois Restaurant Association hopes the mandate doesn’t need to be implemented much longer.

“We’re very happy to see the positivity rate come down, it’s starting to level out again,” Toya said. “We were on the phone yesterday with some of the mayor’s upper management people and we brought it up. And hopefully by early February, we probably won’t have a vaccine mandate.”

Cook County has a similar mandate right now, but would not say how many complaints they have received or how many citations they have given. But a spokeswoman for the county’s public health department told me they refer complaints to individual municipalities and have health inspectors available for follow-up.

The following are full details of the city’s Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection:

“Enforcement of the vaccine requirement is no different from the mask mandate, previous public health orders or normal operation.

“Similar to the mask mandate, establishments that violate a vaccine requirement may be issued two-quotes for violation of BACP and Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) requirements under City of Chicago Public Health Order No. 2021-02 .

“The BACP investigation is complaint driven. The investigation may be conducted covertly if necessary, BACP investigators will self-identify whether the complaint has been addressed openly or covertly. BACP investigators always keep the official identity of the city Huh.

“When a BACP enforcement team investigates an establishment, regardless of the reason for the complaint or investigation as a normal operation, they will ensure that the establishment is complying with public health orders and the City Code of Chicago.

“In addition to addressing complaints, the BACP Active Compliance Program (ACP), a proactive educational program that helps business owners/operators to stay in compliance through non-disciplinary counseling, has been developed to discuss the need for vaccines and adherence to masks. Will inform and remind the location covered for the mandate.

“BACP reserves the right to issue enforcement based on the severity of violations found during the investigation. Enforcement may vary from one day’s notice to correct citations issued in real time. Citing an establishment Once granted, the citation is either prosecuted in the Department of Administrative Hearing or sent to the Law Department for hearing before the Mayor’s License Discipline Commission.

“All are part of a broader effort to ensure compliance with these safety regulations and to hold businesses accountable, designed to keep Chicagoans safe.

The city created a toolkit for businesses and employers that provides useful information on how to verify vaccination status, checklists, and signage.

“Citizens are encouraged to contact 3-1-1 to report violations.”

This is a statement from Cook County Public Health.

“If anyone has a complaint we ask them to come to us website to complete the proper form, after this process:

“If a complaint comes to the county, either we refer the complaint to the individual municipality, which will handle it using their own process or we have a Cook County Department of Public Health inspector.

“Our hope is always to resolve these issues in the interest of everyone’s health, but at the discretion of the Cook County State Attorney’s Office a repeat offender may face penalties. An administrative hearing may result in a fine. or other punishment.”

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Finally, the city told us Tuesday that Howell at the Moon, 26 W. Hubbard St., was cited for violating a vaccination mandate. But the city later said they were mistaken, and the quote there was for a mask mandate.