Changes are happening across Chicago, as rising COVID-19 cases have health officials cracking down to slow the spread of the contagious Delta variant.
Despite a voluntary mask encouraging that masks be worn indoor public spaces, Chicago is seeing an average of over 200 cases per day with a test positivity rate of 3.1%. According to the CDC, Lake and Kane counties are also experiencing substantial levels of transmission, which is considered to be more than 100 cases per 100,000 people over a 7-day period. Boone County now tops the list while nearly every county in the area is seeing high or substantial transmission. Kankakee County is listed as moderate.
“This is a virus that needs to be respected, and it’s something we need to take precautions against, so the message is simple still. If you’re not vaccinated, please get yourself vaccinated. That’s still the best way to protect yourself, and we do need to layer on other protections as we’re fighting the Delta virus in our area, so that’s where the indoor masking comes in,” said Dr. Michael Lin, infectious disease specialist at Rush University Medical Center.
Sunday morning, Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Dr. Allison Arwady, commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health, plan to give an update on the city’s response to the rising COVID-19 numbers. Meanwhile, concert goers at Lollapalooza will have to show proof of vaccination or a negative test in order to enter. The music festival ends Sunday night.
As of Saturday, concertgoers at Lollapalooza are required to wear masks in all indoor spaces, regardless of vaccination status.
Based on the latest advice from the Chicago Department of Public Health, Lollapalooza will require masks in any indoor spaces at Grant Park beginning Saturday. We encourage all fans attending the festival to bring a mask as they attend the final two days of the festival. pic.twitter.com/EHndLVR55i
— Lollapalooza (@lollapalooza) July 30, 2021
#Lolla fans, don’t forget that masks must be worn in all indoor spaces at Grant Park starting today.
We encourage all fans attending the festival to bring a mask.
Don’t forget you need to bring your printed proof of vaccination or proof of negative COVID-19 test every day. pic.twitter.com/EiurjgZ5BL
— Lollapalooza (@lollapalooza) July 31, 2021
The new policy follows the city’s latest guidance, as Chicago officials now urge everyone to wear a mask indoors.
The new mask advisory comes as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns that the delta variant can be spread by people who are fully vaccinated and have a breakthrough infection.
“I am wearing a mask just to be safe,” said Lolla attendee Karen Maze.
But there are mixed opinions.
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“We’re hoping that this is as far as it goes. We definitely don’t want to see a mandate,” said Sam Sanchez, chair of the Illinois Restaurant Association.
At Lolla, you must wear a mask in indoor spaces like the merchandise shop, hospitality lounges, wristband help tents and the box office.
Concertgoers are already required to show proof of vaccination or proof of a negative COVID test.
COVID tests shown by unvaccinated attendees cannot be more than 72 hours old, so anyone with a four-day pass that isn’t vaccinated has to get tested twice.
“It’s easy enough for everyone to go get tested. They were offering it right down the street; it’s easy enough for everyone to get vaccinated if they feel comfortable, and so I feel like it was appropriate; it’s not keeping anyone out unless they have COVID, which I think is fair,” said attendee Reagan Tallmadge.
Unvaccinated guests also must wear a mask, and pop-up testing sites are all around the fest’s perimeter.
The city hoped this would be a safe celebration, but case numbers in Chicago are creeping up.
Lolla organizers tweeted Thursday that more than 90% of people showed proof of vaccination, 8% brought negative COVID tests and 600 people didn’t bring paperwork and were not allowed in.
Great job, Lollapalooza fans! More than 90% of you showed us your proof of vaccination today! Thanks go out to the 8% who brought their proof of negative COVID-19 tests and for the 600 of you who showed up without paperwork, we hope to see you tomorrow! Photo by @SheaFlynn. pic.twitter.com/v7yWmvUPHH
— Lollapalooza (@lollapalooza) July 29, 2021
The music festival, which brings about 100,000 people to Grant Park each day, ends Sunday night.
-Balbo Drive from Columbus Drive to DuSable Lake Shore Drive will be closed through Friday, Aug. 6; Balbo closure continues to Michigan Avenue on Monday, July 26, 8 p.m. and remains closed through Monday, Aug. 2.
-Jackson Drive from Columbus to DuSable Lake Shore Drive is closed through Friday, Aug. 6; Jackson closure extended to Michigan Avenue on Monday, July 26 8 p.m. and remains closed through Monday, Aug. 2.
-Columbus from Monroe Street to Roosevelt Road will be closed Monday, July 26, 8 p.m. through Monday, Aug. 2; the closure on Columbus is extended to Randolph Street on Monday, July 26 at 8 p.m. and continues through Monday, Aug. 2.Additional northbound center lanes on Columbus from 13th Street to Roosevelt Road will be closed on Monday, July 26 at 8 p.m. and the closure continues through Aug. 2.
-Ida B. Wells/Circle is closed from Michigan to Columbus on Monday, July 26 at 8 p.m. and remains closed through Monday, Aug. 2.
-Monroe Street from Michigan to DuSable Lake Shore Drive is closed Wednesday, July 28 at 8 p.m. and remains closed through 6:30 a.m. Monday, Aug. 2.
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