Watch LIVE

Lollapalooza was not a 'superspreader event,' Chicago health commissioner declares

News
Photo by Gary Miller/FilmMagic

Chicago's health commissioner said Thursday that the massive, multiday Lollapalooza music festival held in the city two weeks ago does not appear to have been a "superspreader event."

What are the details?

"There's no evidence at this point of a superspreader event, and there's no evidence of substantial impact to Chicago's COVID epidemiology," Dr. Allison Arwady said at a news conference, according to CNN.

Arwady did say that of the approximately 385,000 people who attended the festival, 203 have been diagnosed with COVID-19, the Chicago Sun-Times reported, adding that none of those who tested positive died or have had to be hospitalized or have died.

"The bottom line is we've not seen anything that has surprised us related to the Lollapalooza outbreak," Arwady said, according to the paper.

Health officials estimated that about 90% of attendees were vaccinated, the Sun-Times said, adding that to enter the festival in Grant Park concertgoers had to show proof of being vaccinated or proof of having tested negative for the coronavirus within the previous three days.

Arwady also said that of the 203 positive cases, 127 were among vaccinated attendees and 76 were among unvaccinated attendees — which translates to about four cases in 10,000 among the vaccinated and about 16 in 10,000 for the unvaccinated, the paper reported.

"We obviously will continue to do further investigation if necessary. ... Any person diagnosed with COVID-19 on or after attending Lollapalooza is included in the analysis," the health commissioner added, according to the Sun-Times. "So these cases may or may not have resulted from transmission at Lolla itself. We've been very broad here. Anybody who is potentially associated, we want to investigate."

Chicago residents account for 58 of the positive cases — and 13 of them reported attending Lollapalooza when or after their symptoms began, Arwady added, the paper said.

What else?

"This is a really important reminder that we need everybody in Chicago not to ignore symptoms, assume it's a summer cold, regardless of your vaccination status because we know the vaccines aren't 100% protective," she noted, according to the Sun-Times.

More from the paper:

In the days leading up to Lollapalooza — despite a spike in cases caused by the delta variant — Arwady said she was comfortable with the event going ahead as planned because of the precautions organizers were taking, including air ventilation for any indoor spaces and making sure backstage workers were vaccinated.

Arwady said Thursday that despite the prevalence of the Delta variant, Chicago isn't seeing the kind of surge that some Southern states are experiencing.

"If we were in New Orleans, ... I don't think we would have been able to move ahead with this event," she noted, the Sun-Times said.

Most recent
All Articles