When Will Chicago End Vaccine Card Requirement? Here’s What We Know – …
As Illinois aims to lift its disguise mandate by Feb. 28, Chicago city officials assert the city’s proof-of-vaccination and disguise requirements could end soon, but have stopped short of providing a specific date.
Speaking on Feb. 14, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said the city is “not there in addition” in regard to eliminating disguise and vaccine card requirements, but the city’s top doctor has since provided more insight on when changes may occur.
Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady explained she is relying on a set of metrics to determine when restrictions can be lifted, and three out of four meaningful metrics must be met to move forward with easing restrictions.
The metrics include test positivity, hospital beds occupied by COVID patients, ICU beds occupied by COVID patients and daily COVID situations. The seven-day rolling averages for each category need to be at a “low transmission” level, which is set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“When we reduce these measures, we increase our vulnerability of having transmission continue to go high,” says Jessica Malaty Rivera, an epidemiologist at the Pandemic Prevention Institute. She joined LX News to talk about disguise restrictions and what loosening them could average for the nation.
During a Facebook live question-and-answer session, Arwady said she is “feeling optimistic,” about moving forward. A formal announcement regarding changes to the disguise and vaccine proof requirements will be made next week, the health official stated.
“We are almost down to these lower risk levels,” the doctor explained, in part. “…We’re really close, and it is really exciting.”
Currently, Chicago has a disguise mandate in place for indoor settings, along with a requirement that patrons in specific indoor establishments show a proof of COVID-19 vaccination in order to gain entry.
Additionally, proof of vaccination is required at indoor restaurants, entertainment venues, gyms and other indoor facilities throughout the city.
City officials say that once three of the preceding four metrics hit the “lower transmission” level, that will start a two-week clock, known as an “incubation cycle.”
After those two weeks, if the numbers keep within the “lower transmission” category, then officials would move to remove mitigations that are in place.
But Arwady noted that the complete two-week period may not be reached before the lifting begins.
“If it is not the 28th it won’t be long after would be my expectation,” she explained. “We got to see the day to get there. That’s just that’s just how it is…And we’re getting really close and that is thanks to Chicagoans.”
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