Chicago's Dec 31st Massive NYE Celebration Still Happening In Midst of Worst Covid Surge of Pandemic


The United States recently saw its largest surge of all time in Covid-19 infection numbers. Illinois Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton recently tested positive for Covid-19, the Illinois Legislature slashed the January 2022 legislative session due to Covid numbers, and the Chicago Police Department Area-3 Bureau of Detectives is in the midst of investigating one of the biggest robbery and carjacking patterns in recent history with no one in-custody. 

        CPD Bureau of Detectives Community Alert showing a recent pattern of robberies and carjackings | CPD Image

Area-3 covers the 001st and 018th district, the very same districts that make-up the geography of exactly the places where Chicagoans and visitors will be ringing-in the new year on December 31st, 2021, into the morning of January 1st, 2022.  

The Mayor of Chicago, Lori Lightfoot, along with Dr. Alison Arwady, has decided that Chicago's biggest NYE celebration of all time will go on as scheduled. The city has so far recorded a grand total of 841 homicides from January 1st, 2021, to the current day as of December 30th, 2021, according to numbers kept by Add to this that on November 7th, 2021, the State of Illinois declared gun violence in the state a public health emergency on top of the current day Covid-19 pandemic.   

WGN TV has that report that was later updated on Nov 12th, 2021.

On December 30th, 2021, WGN published a report with the headline "Illinois officials report over 128K COVID-19 cases, 386 deaths in last week". 

That report from WGN said:

"Currently, IDPH is reporting a total of 2,149,548 cases, including 27,821 deaths, since the start of the pandemic. Since Thursday, laboratories reported 1,260,179 tests for a total of 44,469,630. As of Wednesday night, 5,689 people in Illinois are hospitalized with COVID-19. Of those, 1,010 patients are in the ICU and 565 are on ventilators."

The report went on to note "The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity for cases as a percent of total test from December 23-29 is 10.2%."

On December 29th, 2021, Mayor Lori Lightfoot appeared with CPD Bureau of Patrol Deputy Chief McDermott, and Dr. Arwady at a presser held at Chicago's Office of Emergency Management and Communications where she urged Chicagoans and visitors to "be smart". 

That full press conference can be viewed below via the Chicago Police Dept Facebook page.

Mayor Lightfoot also said, “No child should be unsupervised or their whereabouts unknown when it comes to New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day — do not simply drop them off downtown and hope for the best,” Lightfoot said. “That’s simply not responsible.”

"Dr. Allison Arwady, commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health, said she would rather have people outdoors than indoors, where the risk for transmission remains higher." - Chicago Sun-Times quote of Arwady. 

On December 29th, 2021, the Chicago Sun-Times quoted Mayor Lori Lightfoot, "The mayor encouraged people to watch the fireworks show from home instead of flocking downtown but said the fact that it’s an outdoor event should ease concerns about promoting a potential superspreader event."

Timeline for Chicago New Year's Eve Fireworks Event

11 p.m.:  Bridges along the Chicago River on Franklin, LaSalle, Clark, Dearborn and State streets will close to vehicle and pedestrian traffic. The bridges will reopen about 10 minutes after the fireworks end.

The eastbound lanes of Wacker Drive from Lake Street to Stetson Avenue will be closed to traffic starting at 11 p.m., but pedestrians will be able to watch the fireworks from this location, according to city officials.

Several local TV stations will be covering the event. The public is urged to stay home, and watch the event in the warmth and safety of their homes  instead of attending in-person. 

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