Mayor Lightfoot, public officials implore people to avoid travel, stay home for Thanksgiving

1 in 17 Chicagoans currently has COVID-19 and many may not know it, Dr. Arwady estimates

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Thursday, November 26, 2020
Mayor Lightfoot implores people to stay home for Thanksgiving
Mayor Lightfoot and other public officials are pleading for people to stay home instead of traveling for Thanksgiving.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Public officials made a renewed plea Wednesday for people to stay home instead of traveling for Thanksgiving.

"We are extremely concerned about Thanksgiving weekend becoming a superspreader event," Mayor Lori Lightfoot said.

"I know it's the right thing to do. We want to keep you safe," Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering said in a video shared on Twitter by Mayor Lightfoot.

Chicago Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady estimated one in 17 Chicagoans currently has the virus and many may not know it.

"About 40% of patients do not have symptoms at all and this means they may spread the disease," said Dr. Alfredo Mena Luna, St. Anthony's Hospital.

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City officials announced positive news about a vaccine, and said Wednesday that it could be available in Chicago by mid-December.

The first doses will go to frontline healthcare workers, then vulnerable populations such as those in nursing homes.

"While supplies will increase over time, at this point, we expect all adults to be able to get vaccinated some time in 2021," Lightfoot said.

The mayor said is critically important for people to keep wearing a mask, practicing social distancing and following the guidelines to limit family gatherings.