Lollapalooza kicks off Thursday as Illinois’ COVID-19 surge continues

CHICAGO (WGN) — Iconic music festival Lollapalooza opened its doors Thursday to an estimated 100,000 people, but Illinois’ surge in COVID-19 cases is still causing concerns.

Health officials have acknowledged there will likely be cases tied to the four-day festival. They are urging people to stay home if they’re sick.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and festival organizers believe the right precautions are in place despite a surging number of COVID-19 cases due to the delta variant.

Still, the event drew people from around the country, as it has always done.

“I feel so happy to be here, just grateful for science and the vaccine and that I’m able to come and feel safe,” said Natalie Johnson, who travelled from the Bay Area.

Thursday, Cook County, which includes Chicago, landed on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s indoor mask recommendation list.

Attendees must show proof of a vaccine or a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of entry. Masks are encouraged.

The FBI is warning that creating, buying or selling fake vaccination cards is illegal and those who do can face fines and prison time.

A sign outside the festival reads in part, “An inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public space where people are present. COVID-19 is an extremely contagious disease that can lead to severe illness and death. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, senior citizens and guests with underlying medical conditions are especially vulnerable. By attending Lollapalooza, you voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19.”

Headliners include Foo Fighters, Post Malone, Tyler the Creator and Miley Cyrus. Other performers announced are DaBaby, Marshmello, Illenium, Journey, Megan Thee Stallion, Roddy Ricch — among many others.

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