The mayor of Chicago said Tuesday that the mayor of Chicago will end the mask and vaccine mandate for some public places like restaurants starting Monday after a recent slump. on cases of the Omicron variant. The move aligns with Illinois’ plan to end the statewide indoor mask-wearing mandate that same day.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s announcement doesn’t apply to some spaces — particularly healthcare facilities and public transit, where masks are still required.
“It is important for us to recognize this moment: a huge step forward in our efforts to overcome Covid-19,” Ms. Lightfoot said. “We would not have been in the position of a few weeks ago to make this kind of announcement today.”
Democratic-led states and cities announced similar moves this month as Omicron cases dropped following a wave of devastation that began in December. Connecticut, Illinois and Massachusetts will also lift one mask regulations starting Monday. Washington, DC, will end the masking order for schools that day.
According to the New York Times database, the US is seeing a daily average of 89,000 cases, a 65% drop in two weeks, while the average daily number of hospitalizations is also down 43% to about 66,000 in the past two weeks. that time, according to the New York Times database. Despite the upbeat data trend, the average daily death toll from the virus still exceeds 2,000.
Chicago officials said the decision to relax duties was made because key indicators – including daily cases, test positivity and hospital admissions – all saw significant reversals. compared to the increase. The city’s number of cases and hospitalizations has halved in the past two weeks.
“This does not mean that Covid is gone,” Dr. Allison Arwady, the city’s public health commissioner, said in a statement. “It simply means the transmission level is lower than during the peak. I still encourage everyone to take precautions and definitely get vaccinated to protect themselves and their loved ones.”
Sam Toia, president of the Illinois Restaurant Association, said he welcomed Ms. Lightfoot’s decision to lift the mandates that had been made in January. “It’s been a tough January and February for restaurant operators,” he told The Chicago Sun-Times on Tuesday.
It’s not clear what Lightfoot’s decision means for Chicago Public Schools. The pandemic duty debate in schools has been some of the fiercest, as parents opposed to wearing masks have appeared before school board meetings.
The school district and the Chicago Teachers Union did not immediately respond to messages left by a reporter, and the mayor said she expected an announcement from the district “in the next few days.”
For her part, Ms. Lightfoot, who contracted the coronavirus during Omicron surgery, said she would continue to wear a mask in public places. “It was my personal choice,” she said.
She says she will be especially careful in restaurants, as proof of vaccination is now no longer required to enter. “I will wear a mask,” she said.
https://www.nytimes.com/live/2022/02/23/world/covid-19-tests-cases-vaccine Covid-19, Mask Mandate and Vaccine News: Live Updates