Oak Park restaurants may now serve more patrons in their dining rooms under a revised order from Oak Park’s public health department.
Interim Oak Park Public Health Director, Joseph T. Terry, issued a public health order on Feb. 10modifying indoor dining in Oak Park to whichever is less of 50 patrons or 50% capacity of restaurants and bars.
The order differs from decisions made by the City of Chicago and the suburban Cook County Health Department but aligns with Region 10 meeting the guidelines for Phase 4 set forth by the Illinois Department of Public Health.
Despite qualifying to enter Phase 4, the City of Chicago has limited indoor dining to the lesser of 50 patrons or 25% capacity in a move designed to prevent a spike in COVID-19 cases while positioning larger footprint dining establishments to invite more customers into dining rooms.
The suburban Cook County Health Department, overseeing Forest Park, Berwyn, Brookfield, and other surrounding Region 10 communities, has adopted the same more conservative approach to lifting indoor dining restrictions.
“There was no intent to make Oak Park more lenient than its Cook County neighbors,” said David Powers, Oak Park communications director. “Our health department determined that the cap of 25 patrons would too severely limit our few larger restaurants that can safely distance more diners in their spaces.”
While the new order supersedes the order issued by Terry on Feb. 3 as it relates to capacity limits, the requirements limiting patrons to six per table and six feet between tables will also remain in place. Masks are still required unless actively eating.