As Chicago proved Tuesday when it announced the return of its indoor mask mandate, new COVID-19 rules and restrictions continue to appear and old ones have been revived.
Molson Coors, one of the world’s largest brewing companies announced earlier this week that all non-union corporate and sales employees in the U.S. and visitors to its offices, including its headquarters in Chicago, to be vaccinated. This rule also applies to contract workers and new hires, though not to employees in the breweries and distribution and manufacturing facilities. It joins a growing list of corporations that require employees to be vaccinated, including DoorDash, Tyson, and Union Square Hospitality in New York.
The brewery’s corporate employees are currently working from home; they’re expected to return to the office on October 12, according to a statement obtained by Josh Noel of the Tribune. Molson’s vaccination mandate doesn’t apply to the manufacturing sector because “those facilities allow for ample distancing, and, since the onset of the pandemic, our teams have demonstrated that they can keep one another safe when following all our COVID-19 safety protocols.”
Exceptions will also be made for employees in Latin America and Canada, due to limited vaccine availability. People with medical or religious beliefs that prevent them from getting vaccinated can also apply for an exemption.
Meanwhile, Madison, Wisconsin, joins Chicago, D.C., and Dallas and the states of Nevada, Oregon, and Louisiana in reviving indoor mask mandates from earlier in the pandemic. In a statement issued yesterday, Janel Heinrich, public health officer of Madison and Wisconsin’s Dane County, announced that the mask order will go into effect Thursday, August 19, and last until September 16. It requires that everyone over the age of two wear a mask in public indoors, though masks can be removed while eating or drinking.
In Chicago, bar and restaurant owners are bracing themselves for the return of the indoor mask mandate on Friday and all the dealing with recalcitrant customers that goes with it. Others are concerned about the return of capacity limits and curfews, which severely impacted business last year. As the Rogers Park bakery Smack Dab wrote on Facebook late last month when it decided, independently, to revive the mask mandate, “All us restaurant peeps are real tired.... So please, be thoughtful, conscientious and kind to the staff if they ask you to put your mask on… and to everyone out here trying to figure out what the ‘right’ and ‘safe’ thing is to do in a rapidly changing situation.”
And in other news...
— Titan Walls, the annual mural art festival run by Muros, concludes on Saturday at District Brew Yards, 417 N. Ashland Avenue, with an afternoon and evening of murals, music, and beer. Artists will be on-site repainting the brewery’s largest external wall; visitors can watch them while drinking District Brew Yards’s new Titan Walls Pale Ale, described as “light and tropical easy-drinking.” Other artists will be on hand to sell their work and give demonstrations. The event starts at noon and runs till 8 p.m.
— Logan Square salumeria Lardon, 2200 N. California Avenue, will begin dinner service on weekend evenings, 5:30 to 10 p.m. Chef Chris Thompson’s menu will include mussels, veal sweetbreads, duck leg confit, and steak frites. Diners craving charcuterie will still be able to assemble their own boards from Lardon’s stock of cured meats and cheese.
— The Pocket Pawpaw Cookbook, Sara Bir’s guide to the hunting and cooking of Asimina triloba, the elusive Midwestern fruit also known as the “custard apple” or the “hillbilly banana” is now available from Belt Publishing. For a preview, check out this recipe for Pawpaw Lassi from Midwesterner.
— Colectivo Coffee, the Wisconsin-based chain locked in a labor battle for more than a year, will have a final tally for its union vote on Monday, August 23, according to organizers. The National Labor Relations Board last week announced its decision to open and count seven challenged ballots that management wanted to exclude following the March election. If organizers prevail, the company would become the largest unionized workforce at a coffee chain in the U.S.