Dec 13, 2021 - Business

COVID-19 rules could tighten as cases rise

People waiting to get into a bar.
TBOX pub crawl attendees stand outside full bars waiting to get in. We did not see a single patron wearing a mask indoors. Photo: Monica Eng/Axios

When the COVID-19 infection rate surged in August, Illinois officials reinstated an indoor mask mandate to fight it. Today the rate is nearly double, but no new safety measures have been added to the mask mandate.

Why it matters: Every Illinois county has now reached "high transmission" levels.

Between the lines: Illinois has recently seen a daily rise in vaccinations, with a rolling average of 72,775 jabs last week.

What they're saying: Alderman Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35th) wants lawmakers to consider stronger measures.

  • "One option would be limiting the number of people that can attend a bar or restaurant, you know, capping it at 50% perhaps or less," Ramirez-Rosa told NBC News.
  • Health Commissioner Allison Arwady said she won't rule out requiring vaccination proof to attend public gatherings.

Reality check: The Department of Business Affairs told us last week they were sending teams to Wrigleyville bars to "remind them to abide by the mask mandate" during TBOX.

  • We checked in at half a dozen bars and didn't spot a single indoor patron following the mandate.
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