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Lollapalooza Cleanup Underway In Grant Park Amid COVID Concerns

CHICAGO (CBS) -- The music's over, the fans are gone, and crews are cleaning up the trash left behind. Meanwhile, some are still wondering if Lollapalooza could lead to a rise in COVID-19 cases in Chicago, even as plans for next year's festival are already in the works.

CBS 2's Mugo Odigwe reports cleanup is still underway in Grant Park and along Michigan Avenue, the morning after the four-day music festival came to a close.

It will likely take the whole day, if not longer, to get everything cleaned up.

Meantime, although Lollapalooza's contract with the city is set to expire at the end of the year, it's certainly looking like the festival will be back in Grant Park in 2020.

Lollapalooza organizers already have announced next year's dates, from July 28 through July 31, and the website says it will be in Grant Park.

However, organizers have yet to renew their contract with the city, which expires at the end of 2021.

The city has long said it hopes to continue the partnership.

Meantime, Mayor Lori Lightfoot is standing by her decision to allow Lollapalooza to proceed at full capacity this weekend, despite the recent rise in COVID-19 cases, and the growing prevalence of the more contagious Delta variant.

The mayor said the festival was held outside, where the risk of spreading the virus is lower, and 90% of those who attended the festival were vaccinated against COVID-19. Others had to provide proof of a negative COVID test from within the last 72 hours before they attended the festival.

"Lolla, I think, has done an incredible job, certainly working in partnership with the Department of Public Health, but they've taken it seriously and thousands of young people have been vaccinated because of Lolla," the mayor said on Sunday.

As for keeping COVID numbers down in the city, she and Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady are urging Chicagoans to mask up.

"I know it's hard, especially for people who are vaccinated, to feel like they have to put a mask on. It feels like we're taking a step backwards; but when you do that, you help protect people who have not yet been vaccinated," Arwady said.

So even with Lollapalooza over, Arwady is stressing, if you attended the festival and feel COVID symptoms afterward, make sure you get tested.

She also said the city has contact tracing in place to help track possible cases from the event.

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