Lollapalooza is set to take place this weekend in Chicago, and even with the precautions put in place by concert organizers and city health officials, a prominent disease specialist has a very simple message for those attending:
Assume that you have been exposed to coronavirus.
With recent increases in cases, mostly driven by the more-contagious delta variant, Dr. Emily Landon, executive medical director for infection prevention and control at the University of Chicago, says that festival-goers must assume that they have come into contact with someone infected with coronavirus, whether or not they themselves are vaccinated.
City and Lollapalooza officials say that all concertgoers must either be fully vaccinated against COVID, or must have proof of a negative COVID test dated from within 72 hours of the festival. Even still, Landon says that some COVID-positive individuals could still make it into the festival, and with social distancing mostly impractical in a crowded setting, she says there are steps that attendees should take to keep themselves, and their loved ones, safe.
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Advice for All Attendees:
According to Landon, those individuals who attend the festival “need to consider themselves to have been exposed to COVID,” whether or not they have been vaccinated against the virus.
As a result, Landon recommends the following steps for attendees.
Advice for Those Not Vaccinated Against COVID:
-“The best practice would be to quarantine for at least eight days, then getting tested after day five, six or seven after your most recent exposure, meaning the last day you attended Lollapalooza.”
-“If you have a negative test after day eight, you can go back to your regular life.”
-“If you do not have a negative test result, and you didn’t get tested, then you need to stay home for a full 10 days.”
Advice for Those Vaccinated Against COVID:
-“If you were around other unvaccinated people, you could pick up delta variant. So you need to watch your symptoms.”
-“Avoid people who are high-risk. If you live with someone who’s immunocompromised, or couldn’t be vaccinated, you need to stay away from them.”
-“The most important thing to do is to get tested if you have even the slightest symptoms. Stay away from other people, stay in isolation, and get yourself tested.”