Chicago Prepares for Lollapalooza as COVID Cases Rise

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Lollapalooza

Fears of rapidly rising coronavirus cases — both nationwide and locally — have some residents concerned about the upcoming festival in Chicago.  Lollapalooza is set to begin in Grant Park on Thursday, July 29, 2021. Crews began setting up the scaffolding and main stage for the extensive festival on July 23.

Lollapalooza gates will open up at 11 a.m. on Thursday. Bands are scheduled to play until 10 p.m. — on seven different stages — that evening. Headliners for this year’s festival include Tyler the Creator, Post Malone, the Foo Fighters, and Miley Cyrus.

The festival marks Chicago’s first large-scale event since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

LollapaloozaIn Lollapalooza’s last event — in 2019 — there were roughly 400,000 attendees. Festivalgoers will have to bring a printed copy of their coronavirus vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours to be allowed into the event.

Unvaccinated participants will be required to wear face masks. This year Lollapalooza will have cashless concession stands.

As of Friday, July 23rd, Illinois health officials reported 7,983 new COVID-19 cases within the week. They also stated they had 47 new deaths and over 139,000 vaccine doses newly administered. This brings Illinois’s COVID cases to 1,407,929 since the pandemic began. Their death toll is now at 23,401.

Governor JB Pritzker and City leaders feel comfortable with allowing Lollapalooza to take place. However, not everyone feels this is a good idea.

In a press conference, Pritzker stated that if a person is “vaccinated, it’s safe for you to attend something like this.” He added, “I’m bringing my wife and a few friends I think.” However, he did warn, “People need to be aware we’re not past the pandemic.”

One Evanston resident, Nick Taylor, believes “it’s a bit too early” to hold an event like Lollapalooza. He added, “I’m not a medical professional and I don’t think they’re quite happy about things. I’m against it personally.”

Currently, 55 percent of Illinois residents 12 years and older are fully vaccinated. At least 71 percent of the state’s residents have had at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Illinois’s seniors 65 years and older — are 75 percent vaccinated.

Written by Sheena Robertson

Sources:

WGN TV: Chicago prepares for Lollapalooza as COVID-19 cases rapidly rise; by Dana Rebik

Patch: With Lollapalooza Coming Up, Pritzker Warns Of More Restrictions; Eileen O’Gorman

NBC Chicago: Coronavirus in Illinois: 7,983 New COVID Cases, 47 Deaths, 139K Vaccinations in the Past Week

Inline Image Courtesy of Tammy Lo’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

Top and Featured Image Courtesy of Octavio Ruiz Cervera’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

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