Chicago's Lincoln Park, Old Town, Gold Coast neighborhoods see dangerous spike in COVID cases

Neighboring Chicago zip codes 60614, 60610 report sharpest increase in new COVID cases
CHICAGO (WLS) -- Two Chicago zip codes are seeing a dangerous spike in COVID-19 cases.

Public health officials said the dangerous trend is being driven by young adults. The areas seeing the sharpest rise in new infections are the 60610 and 60614 zip codes.



Lincoln Park has the highest concentration of young people in Chicago, and with rising temperatures outside come rising COVID cases.

"I feel like with the good weather, everybody is out and going to bars and everything," resident Erin Piercy said.
"I say the majority of people I know are getting together in gatherings, so it doesn't surprise me one bit that we are seeing the numbers to join in this area," resident Tim Delacey said.

Delacey, 26, just recovered from the virus after hanging out with a small group of friends for just 30 minutes. Right now, the 60614 and neighboring 60610 zip codes are leading the city in the number of new cases. Health officials say the spike in new cases is being driven by people ages 19-39.

SEE ALSO | Chicago mass COVID vaccination sites near Wrigley Field, Chicago State University opening soon

"We are very disappointed in those numbers and really want the city to take action to help chase the disease," 43rd Ward Ald. Michele Smith said.

The city announced Tuesday that a conference center next to Wrigley Field will be a mass vaccination site. But Ald. Smith is calling for more North Side sites, possibly at a college campus, bars or empty Lincoln Park storefronts. Some young residents agree easy access is needed.
"It would be helpful if we had a really good spot for that kind of thing, because I think that's what it is: a lot of people are not vaccinated here," resident Jarren Moody said.

Until then, Ald. Smith wants to remind her younger residents and businesses to abide by the rules.

"If these numbers of cases don't get under control, it could cause another shutdown," she warned.

Restaurant and bar owners say they cannot afford another shutdown.

"I actually think my restaurants and bars are among the safest places to congregate because when you come here, we are going to make you wear a mask and respect social distancing," said Scott Weiner, The Fifty/50 Restaurant Group.

Ald. Smith said the vast majority of restaurants in her ward do comply with COVID-19 rules, but she urged residents to report those who do not by calling her office or 311.
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