Lightfoot warns COVID restrictions could return if cases keep rising

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot says we may not be done with COVID restrictions as cases surge.

On Tuesday, Lightfoot and Chicago’s top doctor Allison Arwady held a press conference inside City Hall to provide a COVID update – something that used to happen quite often during the height of the pandemic.

The mayor says the city has seen a steady rise in daily cases and test positivity rates, due to the highly contagious Delta variant.

"In the last couple of weeks we've seen a steady rise in our daily case and test positivity rates, an increase that we believe is caused by the highly contagious Delta variant," said Lightfoot.


Lightfoot says all across the US there has been an increase in the number of COVID cases and also on Tuesday, the Chicago Department of Public Health added three more states to its Travel Advisory – Florida, Louisiana and Nevada, as well as the US Virgin Islands. Missouri and Arkansas remain on the list.

This comes as the city's average daily cases have risen to 90, when weeks ago they hit a low of 34.

While these metrics are still below our peaks, Lightfoot says it is still concerning and she is urging people who have not been vaccinated to do so now.

She also did not rule out the possibility of restrictions in the future.

"If we allow the virus to continue to linger here in Chicago, we will likely see further mutations, some of which our current vaccines may not be able to protect against and have to reinforce some of the restrictions that have come to infamously define much of 2020 and part of 2021. The reality is, this scenario – the worst case is entirely preventable," Lightfoot said.

With the positivity rate on the rise, the mayor says she does not regret her decision to allow Lollapalooza to happen next week. But she says they are sounding the alarm because of the uptick in cases and emphasizing the importance of getting vaccinated now.

"The great majority of folks who are coming we expect are vaccinated," said Dr. Arwady. "And we're doing everything we can to make this as safe as we can."

Lollapalooza is requiring concert-goers to show Covid vaccine cards or a negative Coronavirus test result from within the previous 72 hours.

If you’re not vaccinated you must wear your mask at all times.

City officials say with the COVID protocols in place and because it is outside, felt confident enough to allow full capacity.

Some Chicago residents are still concerned. 

"It just makes me a little nervous," said Carly Lasko, as she pushed a baby carriage past Grant Park. 

She questioned whether people attending the festival will truly take the proper precautions. 

"I don’t think so. I mean I think people will say what they want to say in order to be able to get in-whether that’s true or not," Lasko said.

Headliners at Lollapalooza, which starts July 29, include: Foo Fighters, Post Malone, Miley Cyrus and Journey

In addition, Governor JB Pritzker told FOX 32 News on Tuesday that another state lockdown is not out of the question.