Mayor Daniel Biss will recommend that the Evanston City Council Monday night adopt a resolution requiring council members to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Failing that, the resolution says, they would have to test negative for the coronavirus in advance of City Council meetings.

The Director of Health and Human Services issued a directive last month requiring that patrons of certain establishments provide proof of vaccination to enter the businesses.

City employees are also required to be vaccinated under an earlier health department directive.

But at the moment, a memo from Corporation Counsel Nicholas Cummings says, no rule is in place requiring Council members to be vaccinated.

Two council members declined to respond to an inquiry from the Evanston RoundTable last fall inquiring about their vaccination status. The other seven, and the mayor, all said they were vaccinated.

On another pandemic-related issue, the Council is scheduled to discuss a plan from Ald. Devon Reid (8th) to require supermarkets to provide hazard pay to their workers.

Assistant City Attorney Brian George says federal district courts have rejected challenges to local hazard pay for grocery worker ordinances in Long Beach, California, and Seattle, Washington, saying the regulations were not preempted by the National Labor Relations Act nor did they violate equal protection rules, because a rational basis existed for the hazard pay rule.

George says there are no Illinois court cases on the issue and that there’s no state statute that would limit the city’s ability to pass such an ordinance.

The City Council meeting is scheduled to start at 6 p.m.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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