Coronavirus Pandemic

Chicago's Live Events Industry Hopeful Ahead of Biden's Mask Rules Announcement

Illinois officials said Monday the state plans to follow CDC mask guidelines

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With President Joe Biden slated to announce as early as Tuesday that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will update its guidance for wearing masks outdoors, some in Chicago's entertainment industry are holding out hope for a normal summer.

While few early details have been released, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, said outdoor guidance may be different for those who've been vaccinated compared to those who haven't.

“I think it’s pretty common sense now that outdoor risk is really, really quite low,” Fauci said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week,” adding that vaccinated individuals particularly have a reduced risk.

Fauci said if three million people can get vaccinated daily, in a number of weeks the U.S. is "going to see a turning around of the dynamics."

Such a change would be especially beneficial for the live events industry in Chicago and elsewhere, according to an industry leader.

Robert Gomez, who owns two concert venues in the city, said the past year has been filled with anxiety. But now, with the upcoming mask announcement, Gomez and others hope live concerts and other events will be a go this summer.

"The anticipation of it, I can't even describe," he said.

Currently, Illinois remains under a statewide mask mandate that requires the following:

"Any individual who is over age two and able to medically tolerate a face covering (a mask or cloth face covering) shall be required to cover their nose and mouth with a face covering when in a public place and unable to maintain at least a six-foot social distance. This requirement applies whether in an indoor space, such as a store, or in an outdoor space."

Health officials said Monday the state plans to follow CDC masking guidelines.

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