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CHICAGO — As COVID-19 cases continue to surge across the Chicago area and the state, Cook County is moving forward with plans to close three mass vaccination sites.

The Forest Park vaccination side along with the site in Des Plaines will close Tuesday. The site in Matteson will close Wednesday. There is a new push to get vaccinations done at the community level. 

The contagious and more deadly Delta variant has quickly become a major point of concern for health officials—but more specifically that concern is aimed at those who are not vaccinated. 

“We know that the more people who are fully vaccinated, the less chance this virus or any of the variants that follow will have infecting Illinois residents,” Dr. Ngozi Ezike said.

Right now 55% of people in the state are fully vaccinated, and 51% are fully vaccinated in Chicago.

For now, Chicago doesn’t appear to be on the same path as other cities in the country that have gone back to mask mandates indoors. 

“I’m not worried about overwhelming our health system in the way that I was, I’m not worried about having to do the major shutdowns and lockdowns because we have effective vaccine, but I’m concerned about the individuals that choose not to take advantage of that,” Dr. Allison Arwady said.

Since July 4, there have been nearly 5,000 new cases of COVID-19 and the Delta variant is responsible for one in four of those cases.

Regardless by the middle of the week, Cook County will close the three mass vax sites and instead push people to be vaccinated on a more community-based level such as at special events, the work place and even at home.

The message from health care officials is clear: Get vaccinated.