Wilmette’s public officials are stepping up mitigation efforts in response to climbing COVID-19 metrics and additional safety guidance from regional and federal health institutions.
The Village of Wilmette, Wilmette Park District and Wilmette Public Library announced Friday, July 30, that all visitors to their public buildings — regardless of vaccination status — must wear a mask until further notice.
All three organizations posted news through digital means, whether on their websites or in emailed newsletters.
“We remain committed to the health and safety of our patrons, particularly our younger ones who are not currently eligible for a vaccine,” the park district posted on its website. “Please be aware that our instructors (fully vaccinated or not) will wear masks when with participants in any program that involves children under 16 years old.”
The park district’s indoor mask requirement applies to all park buildings — such as the Community Recreation Center, Wilmette Golf Club and Centennial (ice and tennis) — as well as its buses. Masks are optional, the district says, for outdoor activities, and parents can request the district keep their child masked during outdoor programming.
The Village of Wilmette restriction applies to Village Hall and its other properties, but not area businesses.
“Businesses are permitted to requireface coverings and social distancing as they deem appropriate,” according to an email from the Village of Wilmette.
The Wilmette library said it also will require all staff and visitors to wear a mask.
The upgraded local safety measures were given on the heels of Cook County’s updated mask guidance announced Friday, July 30.
The county fell in line with the CDC and Illinois Department of Public Health in recommending masks for all individuals in public, indoor settings.
Anchored by the Delta variant, the spread of COVID-19 in suburban Cook County is considered “substantial,” the second highest designation by the CDC.
In the county, single-day cases surpassed 200 on July 27 for the first time since May 22. The Delta variant made up more than 60 percent of new county cases over the past week.
As reported by The Record Thursday, July 29, Wilmette is seeing a surge in COVID-19 cases after a quiet summer.
The City of Evanston also has indoor-masking mandates in place for many of its public buildings.
The Village of Glencoe, which has not seen a recent COVID-19 surge, is recommending public masking indoors, but does not have a requirement in public buildings.
Public school districts, including New Trier District 203, have not yet decided on masking policies for the upcoming school year.