The Village of Oak Park experienced a 750% increase in COVID-19 cases in July 2021 as compared to June 2021 and numbers are continuing to rise. In response to the surge Dr. Theresa Chapple-McGruder, Oak Park’s public health director, issued a new health order impacting operations at the Oak Park Farmers Market beginning this Saturday, Aug. 21.
Most notably, capacity inside the weekly market will be capped at 390 people and maintain a ratio of 30 individuals per 1,000 square feet of open space. The market entrance will be monitored, and customers will be expected to line up on the north side of Lake Street to gain admission. The line will be socially distanced and extend west on Lake Street; the line will turn onto the east side of Scoville as needed.
Masks are highly recommended for all marketgoers and the “no touch” policy has also been reinstated. Patrons will point to their produce before purchase rather than selecting it themselves.
Donuts will be sold from the same location with the seating area being reorganized to allow for more distance between tables. The market band will be relocated to the south lawn of Pilgrim Church once again.
There were no specific details regarding the market’s scheduled stone soup and pie bake off events included in the order, but the special events section stipulates “special events involving individuals touching items that have been touched by other special event participants are prohibited.”
The new order is set to stay in effect through the completion of the market season, but it will be re-evaluated as needed and adjusted to be more or less restrictive based on changing data.