CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Chicago could issue a mask advisory if Cook County reaches a high transmission level of COVID-19.
Mayor Lightfoot made the announcement at a press conference Thursday.
"Not only will this protect you, but it will also protect those around you, including some of our most vulnerable older residents and those with compromised immune systems," Mayor Lightfoot said. "Preventing the spread of COVID now will also protect our healthcare system from being overwhelmed with COVID-19 cases."
That would mean all Chicagoans 2 and older will be asked to wear a mask in indoor public settings, including restaurants as well as theaters.
Businesses would be allowed to mandate masks for employees or customers.
"If you have not had a vaccine against COVID since Labor Day you need to get that now. Make it a holiday present to yourself," Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said.
Chicago is currently at the medium transmission level. Arwady said the city could move into the high setting soon, after a possible post-holiday surge.
Dr. Arwady said people traveling to high transmission areas should wear a mask indoors.
The holidays are a time when families gather to celebrate, and city leaders are concerned those get-togethers could become the source for the spread of COVID-19.
"Warm indoor settings are the perfect places, unfortunately for possible virus transmission," Lightfoot said.
With COVID on the rise, Dr. Arwady is also encouraging people to consider getting tested before going to family gatherings.
Just last week, Lightfoot announced she had tested positive for COVID-19.
She just exited a five-day quarantine after testing positive and says she was asymptomatic throughout it.
"When I got the positive test I was frankly quite shocked. I had a little fatigue the next day, but after that I've been going kind of full tilt," Mayor Lightfoot said.
She attributes that to being up-to-date on her COVID boosters, something she encourages everyone to do.
She followed Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines and wore a mask throughout Thursday's news conference.
Lightfoot and Arwady also reminded residents about the updated bivalent COVID vaccine to protect against the virus.