203 cases of Covid-19 linked to the Lollapalooza festival

Chicago. Chicago health authorities reported 203 cases of Covid-19 related to the Lollapalooza music festival on Thursday, noting that it was an amount that was planned and that is not yet linked to any hospitalization or death.

“There is nothing unexpected here,” said Dr. Allison Arwady, commissioner of the Department of Public Health, at a news conference. “There is no indication that this is a ‘wide spread event.’ But clearly, with hundreds of thousands of people attending Lollapalooza, we expected to see some cases. “

The four-day music festival that took place two weeks ago drew some 385,000 people to a Chicago city park. Critics questioned the holding of the event during the coronavirus pandemic. Videos showed crowds packed at concerts and on public transportation with few masks in sight. Last year’s edition of the festival was canceled due to Covid-19.

But Mayor Lori Lightfoot and other officials have defended the decision, noting that security protocols were in place. Festival goers had to show evidence of their vaccination status or a negative coronavirus test, and city officials said 90 percent of attendees were vaccinated.

Arwady said the number of positive cases included those who tested positive after or during Lollapalooza, which may include people who arrived at the festival already infected. For example, 13 Chicago residents who tested positive reported attending the festival the day or 24 hours after symptoms began.

The commissioner said the city was still investigating cases, but did not expect them to have a significant impact on Covid-19 infection rates.

“We would have already seen a rebound at this point,” he noted.

Among those who tested positive, city officials said 138 were Illinois residents outside of the city of Chicago, 58 were from the city and seven were from out of state. About 80% of those who tested positive were under the age of 30, and about 62% were white, Arwady said.