Lollapalooza Indoor Mask Requirement Goes Into Effect

Chicago has been considered an area of "substantial" COVID transmission by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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The third day of Lollapalooza got underway Saturday with a major change - a mandate that all concertgoers wear masks at any indoor spaces.

Event organizers announced the requirement on social media Friday after the Chicago Department of Public Health issued a recommendation that all residents over the age of 2 wear masks in public indoor settings, regardless of vaccination status.

The four-day event, billed as the largest musical festival happening in the world this year, saw massive crowds and little to no social distancing or mask wearing at events during the first two days. However, on Saturday, there appeared to be more people wearing masks - compared to the past two days.

Multiple attendees told NBC 5 the masking change isn't taking away from the experience - but instead offering some peace of mind.

"It’s amazing, it's super fun," one visitor said. "It's great to be back in something like this. We went two years ago. Its really cool and to be around people again, its awesome."

To enter the festival, concert-goers must provide a printed copy of their COVID vaccine card, vaccine record or negative coronavirus test within 72 hours of entering. 

While Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has said CDPH and Lollapalooza's own health experts decided it was safe to move forward with the event, some infectious disease specialists say they're bracing for a jump in COVID-19 infections following the festival.

Along with suburban Cook County, Chicago is considered an area of "substantial" COVID transmission by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a move that triggered federal recommendation to resume indoor masking under its new guidance released Tuesday.

The CDC updated its guidance to recommend that fully vaccinated people should wear masks in indoor settings again in areas of the U.S. that are seeing "substantial" or "high" transmission of COVID-19. Illinois' health department later said it would align with the CDC guidance.

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