COVID-19 rules could tighten as cases rise
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.
- Winnebago County issued a disaster declaration in response to skyrocketing cases and hospitalizations last week.
- A new COVID surge at Chicago Public Schools has put 10,000 students in quarantine.
- Chicago cases have tripled in eight weeks.
- The Bulls are in the midst of an active outbreak. More than half the team is in health and safety protocols.
- At least one recent event suggests current regulations are only spottily enforced. At Saturday's TBOX bar crawl, thousands jammed into Wrigleyville bars without masks.
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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