News Source: chicago.cbslocal.com
Areas Teeming With Restaurants, Bars Are In Balancing Act Between High COVID-19 Vaccination Rates And Rising Case Numbers
News Source/Courtesy: chicago.cbslocal.com

CHICAGO (CBS) — With more people getting vaccinated against COVID-19, restaurants, bars, and ballparks are busier than they have been in more than a year.

But some areas of Chicago with the highest vaccination rates are also seeing spikes in COVID-19 cases.

CBS 2’s Brandon Merano had a look Sunday night at what business owners and customers are doing to stay open – and stay safe.

Sunday Funday is a thing once again in River North.

“When we come out, we try to take precautions – wear masks, keeping our space, sanitizing, washing hands – and we think that that’s a tradeoff to continue to support small businesses,” said Ryan Douglas of Chicago.

And the more vaccinations roll out, the more comfortable people like Douglas feel going out.

“It’s a tradeoff, but one that we think is worth taking,” he said.

In areas like Wrigleyville and River North, the number of vaccinations against COVID-19 continue rising – but so do COVID cases.

“I think people are finally like feeling better about going out in public,” said Rebecca Nelson of JoJo’s Shake Bar, 23 W. Hubbard St. “A lot more tourism is happening right now; the warmer weather. I think the summer is going to be more intense too.”

More people getting vaccinated is obviously a good thing, but local businesses are cautioning people not to let their guard down.

If that doesn’t happen, Nelson worries the city could once again put more restrictions on restaurants like hers.

“I hope that people still have respect for others that haven’t been vaccinated, and still take the precautions that we all must take,” she said.

Right now, ZIP codes with higher tourism rates are seeing a spike in cases – something Nelson does not see as a coincidence.

“Really hope that everyone sticks to those, especially tourists and a lot of people who come from other states that don’t have mask mandates anymore. They still have to understand that our restrictions are still in place,” Nelson said.

Douglas said if we all work together, with “the mask-wearing, distancing, and support your local small businesses,” we might be able to have our cake and eat it too.

For information on COVID-19 cases and vaccination rates, click here for our Vaccine Tracker.

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News Source: chicago.cbslocal.com

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