City leaders recommend masks indoors amid uptick in COVID-19 cases

Coronavirus

CHICAGO — City leaders have recommended everyone return to wearing masks indoors regardless of vaccination status amid rapidly rising cases of COVID-19, fueled by the delta variant.

In Chicago, an average of 206 new COVID-19 cases a day has prompted public health officials to recommend but not mandate bringing back mask-wearing indoors in public places.

There were existing mask mandates in place for public transportation and hospitals.

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The CDC recently added Cook County to the list of areas with substantial COVID-19 transmission, while several Chicago neighborhoods are at a particularly high risk due to low vaccination rates.

The South Deering, South Shore, Auburn Gresham, Austin and Roseland community areas have vaccination rates below 50 percent, with Mayor Lori Lightfoot saying those who are not vaccinated are playing a dangerous game.

Cook and Will County are the state’s counties that have recommended indoor mask-wearing thus far and there are currently no plans to have Chicago shut down due to virus transmission.

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