Doctors say that with 500 possible COVID cases linked to the Milwaukee Bucks ‘Deer District’ party, it's time to be concerned about how many cases might come out of Chicago's Lollapalooza music festival.
"We should be concerned," said Dr. Shikha Jain of the University of Illinois. "People were close together, they were partying, they were yelling, they were screaming."
Both events were held outdoors. Both were held over several days. Both attracted thousands of people But they were different in a couple significant ways: Lollapalooza required proof of vaccination or proof of a negative test, and the Deer District events did not. And Lollapalooza was an all-day, four-day long festival, while the Deer District parties were held at night for a few hours.
Dr. Jain said that the similarities between the events are concerning.
"It's important to remember that with this new Delta variant, we are seeing transmission outdoors as well as indoors, when people are close together, when they are talking, when they are singing, when they are interacting," she said.
She also noted that the Delta variant is a lot more contagious.
"There is a five minute exposure risk, as opposed to the 15 minutes we've been talking about last year. That just shows you how much more contagious this new variant is," she said. "Whether you are vaccinated or not, there is still the possibility you can transmit COVID-19 to each other."