Glencoe, News

‘Keep Glencoe safe’: President Roin pleads with residents to get vaccinated as village announces restrictions to O.A.R. concert

Village of Glencoe President Howard Roin is making the most of his first impression.

Three months into his new gig, Roin pleaded with residents during the Aug. 19 Village Board meeting to “keep Glencoe safe” by getting vaccinated.

“We can and we must do better than we have done,” said Roin, as it pertains to getting the village completely vaccinated.

According to Illinois Department of Public Health data, as of Aug. 17, 69.14 percent of the Village of Glencoe is fully vaccinated — similar to neighboring communities like Wilmette (71.64%), Winnetka/Northfield (68%) and Kenilworth (65.88%), while suburban Cook County is 50.9% vaccinated.

“This is not a question of freedom. This is a question of responsibility, and I am asking everyone to be responsible,” Roin said. “Get vaccinated. Wear a mask. Keep Glencoe safe.”

In the wake of Roin’s comments, Village Manager Phil Kiraly announced that those who attend the highly anticipated Glencoe Live concert featuring O.A.R. on Sept. 4 must provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test.

The requirement mirrors that of Chicago’s Lollapalooza and other large events as the spread of COVID-19’s Delta variant has spurred increased transmission across the country, including the North Shore. The COVID-19 transmission level is designated “high” in Cook County as of Thursday, Aug. 12, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID Data Tracker.

“The concert venue is much more enclosed, and there is one way in and one way out, and there may not be as much of an opportunity to spread out,” Kiraly said. “If they can do it at Lollapalooza, which hosted 400,000 people, we have no doubt they can do it here in Glencoe with 3,000.”

The sold-out Sept. 4th show will contact ticket holders with the updated guidance on COVID-19 protocols, Kiarly said.

Another large village event, however, will not require vaccination proof or a negative test. Officials said the Glencoe Labor Day fireworks show — postponed from the Fourth of July — on Friday, Sept. 3, is safer because it is held outdoors on expansive grounds at Lakefront Park that allow for social distancing.

The village does encourage residents to follow the guidance set by the CDC and Cook County to wear a mask if social distancing isn’t possible, but specific language on mask guidance is in the works and will be announced as soon as possible, according to Kiraly.

While the Village of Glencoe adapts to the COVID-19 safety guidelines set forth by the CDC and Cook County, it will also expect to receive about $1.2 million in federal aid from the Local Fiscal Recovery Fund, a component of the American Rescue Plan Act, put into law by President Joe Biden to provide financial and public health relief aid amid COVID-19.

The village expects to receive two installments: 50 percent delivered in the coming weeks, and the remaining 50 percent provided this time next year. The village board will “discuss and determine” how to allocate the funds starting this fall when the 2022 fiscal year budget discussions are put on the agenda, Kiraly told The Record.

“To underscore what village president Roin said before, please do continue to wear those masks in indoor and public places,” Kiraly said. “Those are guidelines that have been encouraged by the Centers for Disease Control, and we’ll continue to keep that in place here at Village Hall for the foreseeable future.”

Editor’s note: This article was updated at 2:19 p.m. Tuesday, August 24, with information from Village Manager Phil Kiraly on the allocation of $1.2 million in federal aid from the Local Fiscal Recovery Fund.

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Alayne Trinko

Alayne Trinko is an editorial intern who assists the editor-in-chief in reporting hyperlocal news, developing engaging multimedia, and building community trust. Alayne was a staff writer and Focus section editor for The DePaulia, DePaul University’s student-run newspaper. Alayne will be a junior studying journalism this fall and hopes to study abroad to conduct social justice reporting on women’s reproductive health issues in Africa or India in summer 2022. Follow her on Twitter @AlayneTrinko.

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