Lightfoot tests positive for COVID-19 again

The mayor, who said she was asymptomatic, also came down with the virus in January.

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Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot masks up at a March news conference. She tested positive for COVID-19 Friday, according to her office.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot masks up at a March news conference. She tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday, according to her office.

Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

For the second time this year, Mayor Lori Lightfoot has tested positive for COVID-19.

Lightfoot’s office announced her latest diagnosis Friday afternoon as coronavirus cases and hospitalizations rise once again across Illinois heading into winter, which officially arrives next week.

“I am thankfully not experiencing symptoms, which I attribute to being vaccinated and fully boosted,” the mayor said in a statement. “I will work from home while continuing to follow the CDC guidelines for isolation. This is a reminder to get vaccinated and boosted this holiday season to keep you and your loved ones healthy and safe.” 

Lightfoot, who has filed to run for a second term in next year’s municipal election, previously came down with the virus in January, when she said she experienced mild, cold-like symptoms. She was back at work a week later.

The mayor is now counted among more than 3,300 Illinoisans who are testing positive for the virus each day on average over the past week — a rate that has spiked 58% since Thanksgiving.

A total of 1,712 Illinois hospital beds were occupied by COVID-19 patients Thursday night, the highest number of admissions since Valentine’s Day, according to the Illinois Department of Public Heath. Transmission is considered elevated in 86 of Illinois’ 102 counties.

Health officials nationwide are urging more people to roll up a sleeve for the latest booster shoot, which is specially formulated against the omicron subvariants. Only about 17% of eligible Illinoisans have gotten the latest shot, which has been approved for everyone 6 months or older.

“If you have not had a COVID vaccine since Labor Day this year, you’re almost certainly not up-to-date,” Chicago Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said in a statement.

“As we prepare for holiday gatherings with our loved ones, I want to remind Illinoisans that these elevated COVID-19 community levels, along with rising flu levels, are leading to a surge of respiratory infections, increased hospitalizations and limited hospital beds,” Illinois Public Health Director Dr. Sameer Vohra said in a statement. “I strongly recommend all Illinoisians take preventative steps to protect themselves and their family and friends, especially those most vulnerable, including young children and individuals over 65.”

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