Currently, it accounts for less than 1% percent of cases but the new mutation is raising concern because it could be more transmissible and vaccines may be less effective against it.
To try to stop the spread, Chicago leaders are cracking down on restaurants and businesses that are refusing to follow mask rules.
While many people were out enjoying the long holiday weekend, the city was out making sure that businesses were following COVID guidelines.
From Thursday through Sunday, investigators from the Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP) issued 10 citations to businesses for violating the city’s mask mandate, which went into effect on August 20.
The businesses cited include:
- The Mine Music, 1431 West Lake Street;
- La Cocina, 209 West Lake Street;
- Snicker’s Bar, 448 North State Street;
- El Berrinches/El Taco Azteca, 1807 South Ashland Avenue; and
- Country Club, 3462 North Clark Street.
Cactus Food & Liquor on West Irving Park Road was given a notice to correct for violating the mask mandate.
Travel was also top of mind over the weekend. Chicago's top doctor reminded people on Tuesday that it's especially risky for those who are not vaccinated.
"Broadly speaking, travel remains a high risk activity for people who are unvaccinated so please just get vaccinated and it helps you be able to do a lot more things with a lot less concern and it helps us protect especially the most vulnerable people in Chicago," Arwady said.
Arwady tweeted on Tuesday that COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to primarily happen in unvaccinated Chicagoans.
Health officials are urging people to layer protections including getting vaccinated, social distancing, hand washing and wearing masks.