Mayor Lori Lightfoot, Chicago Business Affairs and Consumer Protection Comm. Rosa Escareño and Chicago Department of Public Health Comm. Allison Arwady on Thursday announced an extended "vaccine exemption" set to start with the Bridge Phase of Chicago's reopening. Under the exemption, businesses need not account for fully vaccinated individuals when determining capacity limits. Capacity limits themselves are also set to increase in the new phase: bars and restaurants' normal liquor license hours will apply, outdoor events may have 500 participants while indoor events may have 250, and conventions may host the smaller number of 60 percent of its normal participants or 1,000 attendees. Chicago is moving into the Bridge Phase because its test positivity rate is under 4 percent and average daily case counts and deaths have continued to decline.
The Chicago Department of Public Health, the Chicago Teachers' Union and Chicago Public Schools are set to open mobile vaccine clinics at 15 elementary and high schools in the next three weeks. The announcement comes on the heels of the Food and drug Administration's emergency authorization of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 12-15; however, the clinics will offer both Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccines to adult chaperones. Vaccines will be distributed by bus from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at each location, with the buses returning for second doses of the Pfizer vaccine three weeks from the clinic date.
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