Cook County investigating wedding reception at north suburban hotel

A Prospect Heights hotel was given a written warning for not following state COVID-19 guidelines after a large wedding-related event Wednesday evening.

And the Cook County Department of Public Health is investigating the incident at the Hilton Chicago/Northbrook, which is in Prospect Heights.

Don Bolger, a health department spokesman, said it was unclear how many guests attended the event. “We won’t know until we get the guest list,” he said Thursday.

Joe Wade, Prospect Height’s city administrator, said he spoke to the hotel’s general manager Thursday and she was “very forthright” and acknowledged there had been a wedding party at the hotel Wednesday.

Wade said the general manager told him at least one hotel employee had urged members of the party to socially distance and wear masks.

Neither the hotel’s general manager nor other representatives from the facility could be reached for comment.

During his daily COVID-19 media briefing Thursday, Gov. J.B. Pritzker described the event as “very irresponsible.”

“This is very concerning to all of us at a moment when we have rampant COVID-19 throughout Illinois,” Pritzker said. “Here we have people who, in a concentrated fashion, have the ability now to go spread it to everywhere that they return to.”

“I’m deeply worried for them and for the communities that they’ve returned to, for their families and so on. I hope that each of them will isolate and get a test.”

Pritzker said it would be up to local authorities to mete out punishment.

The Illinois Hotel & Lodging Association said the event was “unacceptable and does not reflect the careful efforts the hotel industry as a whole has taken since the onset of the pandemic to protect guests, employees and our communities.”

“The hotel industry is committed to working with policymakers and public health officials to ensure this situation is not repeated,” association president and CEO Michael Jacobson said in a statement.

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