January 2, 2022
Dear Residents, Families & Patrons,
We are very happy to share the Official Revision of the Cook County Department of Public Health (CCDPH) Mitigation Order 2021-11 that was scheduled to take effect January 3. The Revised Exemptions that now include Park Districts, are listed below. Please note that some portions of the Order still apply to our facilities. In particular, Masking Requirements apply to all indoor activities and sports participants, including children, parents, coaches, officials, athletes of all ages, & spectators without exceptions, unless otherwise named in the order.
These revisions are the result of the efforts of Cook County based and other Illinois Park Districts and communities working with Cook County officials to find solutions to the COVID-19 challenges we face together.
The clarifying language states that the following are exempt from the order:
- An individual 18 years of age or younger who enters a business subject to this Order to participate in an activity sponsored by a school, park district, child care or after-school program, or other organizations as defined in guidance by the Cook County Department of Public Health
- Youth or adults participating in special recreation programs
- Spectators of indoor sporting events provided that no food or drink is being served and that they remain masked at all times
CCDPH defines health and fitness centers as “all indoor settings for recreation and exercise” and all Park District of Franklin Park facilities fall within this definition:
- Park District Community Center: Gymnasium/Fitness Center
- North Park: Banquet Hall/Sports Arena
- Franklin Park Ice Arena
Please note the following requirements for facility usage and program participation:
- Masks are required indoors for any person age two or older that can medically tolerate it (regardless of vaccination status).
- Physical distancing of six feet or more is required when feasible.
Proof of Vaccination and ID
- Any individual over the age of 18 is required to show proof of vaccination to enter a facility.
Acceptable forms of vaccination proof are:
- a CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Card
- an official immunization record from the jurisdiction where each vaccination shot was administered
- an “app” that provides a digital record of vaccination
- a digital or physical photo that includes the individual’s name, the vaccine brand administered, and the date(s) of vaccine administration.
- Any individual over the age of 18 is required to show an identification card (such as a driver’s license, school ID, government ID, or passport) with information corresponding to their proof of vaccination prior to entering a facility.
- An exemption is granted for those who are medically unable to receive vaccination if they (1) show proof of the exemption from a medical provider, and (2) show proof of a negative COVID test within 24 hours of coming into any facility.
Patrons hosting Events at our facilities are required to certify that participants have shown proof of vaccination. An Event addendum will be provided.
The original mitigation requirements from the Cook County Department of Public Health do not include any input from the Park District of Franklin Park Board and Staff, most notably our concerns for the physical and mental health of our children and young adults that we know have been severely impacted by past COVID-19 restrictions and lockdowns since the beginning. We are in full support of vaccination options. However, we do not believe the Park District has the sole right to force your families to make the same vaccination decisions we have made, for you and your children.
Please understand the position of the Park District of Franklin Park during this mitigation period. We sincerely appreciate your cooperation, understanding and patience, and look forward to providing safe and healthy programs and services for you and your families.
Please continue to follow updates on our website, Facebook and participant emails. Feel free to contact us with questions.
Joseph D. Modrich
Director of Parks & Recreation