Chicago COVID cases could trigger mask mandate return

St. Louis reinstated mask mandate Monday

Jessica D'Onofrio Image
Tuesday, July 27, 2021
Latest on coronavirus: Masks could return in Chicago
Dr. Allison Arwady will give a COVID vaccine update Tuesday, after Mayor Lori Lightfoot said a Chicago mask mandate could return.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Mayor Lori Lightfoot said COVID has incredible momentum right now, and she's warning Chicagoans about taking steps backward.

She said if Chicago consistently sees more than 200 new cases of COVID per day, she would consider reinstating mask mandates and other restrictions.

"If we see a surge, anything like we've seen in the past couple cycles, then everything is on the table," Lightfoot said. "But right now I feel confident with the measures that are in place. But everything is subject to change based upon the data and the science."

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During a press conference Tuesday, Dr. Arwady said the city is not at a point yet where they recommend the vaccinated population to wear masks.

Dr. Arwady also discussed an expansion of the in-home vaccination program, with the new incentive of a $25 Visa gift card.

Dr. Allison Arwady gives an update on COVID-19 in Chicago, including mask guidance and the travel advisory.

On Tuesday, the Hartmans are sightseeing in the city. All of them are vaccinated and comfortable without masks.

"For me, it's like, I would like to see the masks stay off, but I understand completely that there's a lot of folks out there that aren't vaccinated, and that definitely has an impact on the rest of us," Ted Hartman said.

Cathy Hartman agreed.

"I feel comfortable. The only way I would actually go back to wearing a mask unless it was mandated," she said.

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The city said the majority of new hospitalizations and deaths involve people who are not vaccinated, something of particular concern to the mayor.

"The longer you take to delay getting a vaccine, you run the risk of a further mutation of the virus," Lightfoot said.

Meanwhile Alisha Pigram is planning to wear her mask regardless of her vaccination status and regardless of any potential mandates.

"Because it's personal for me -- medical issues and then family members, so yeah I'll still, until we're clear, I'll still be precautious," Pigram said.

While waiting to see what happens in Chicago, other parts of the Midwest are reinstating indoor mask mandates.

On Monday, the city of St. Louis put that in place.