Large crowds return to Wrigleyville as COVID-19 cases rise

There are concerns about COVID-19 cases creeping up in Illinois.

Just this weekend, large groups of rowdy people were seen outside the bars at Wrigley Field.

Public health officials warn we are in the beginning stages of a surge in cases in Cook County, despite more and more people getting vaccinated.

The demographic affected? Young adults, ages 18 to 39.


Video obtained by FOX 32 from late Saturday night into Sunday morning shows a chaotic scene just before 1 AM in Wrigleyville, with a man getting sick in the foreground while a fight spills out onto Clark a few steps behind him.

"There's a lot at stake for the customers as well as the businesses," said Slugger’s co-owner Ari Strauss.

Fortunately, no reported chaos--so far--in or outside Slugger's, one of the many bars capping capacity at 50 people per room, with social distancing and masks required when you're up from your table.

"When you're dealing with more people, longer days, the challenges increase, but overall, we're quite pleased with how everyone's been behaving," Strauss said.

But it hasn't gone smoothly at bars everywhere. A new CDC report says a bar in downstate Illinois hosted a February party that turned into a super-spreader event infecting 46 people.

"Sometimes I just don't understand peoples' behavior," said Dr. Jeffrey Kopin.

Dr. Kopin with Northwestern says with vaccine eligibility expanding next week to all Illinois adults outside Chicago, he's optimistic we can avoid a fourth wave of cases if people are smart.

"We're absolutely seeing an uptick right now. The number of new infections. That's no surprise. People are getting out. People are together and we're still in the middle of a pandemic. We can't lose track of that. At the same time, the amount of immunity is going to, I believe stop a full fourth wave," Kopin said.

The CDC reports that at the downstate bar super-spreader event, only one attendee had been vaccinated.