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With Lollapalooza vaccine policy, testing requirements in place, festival starts Thursday

<i>WLS</i><br/>Lollapalooza kicks off today in Chicago's Grant Park.
Lollapalooza kicks off today in Chicago's Grant Park.

By Jesse Kirsch

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    CHICAGO, Illinois (WLS) — There are extra concerns about COVID Thursday morning in Chicago, as Lollapalooza kicks off.

It will be the start of a Lollapalooza in Chicago’s Grant Park unlike any other.

The festival gates open at 11 a.m., with tens of thousands of people expected every day, despite growing concerns about COVID-19 once again rearing its ugly head.

The city and festival have been working together to try to avoid that, with health entry requirements — either proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative COVID test within 72 hours of the day you’re going to the concert.

And testing sites like the Center for COVID Control on State Street are seeing a lot more people come through for a test, hoping for a negative to go to Lollapalooza.

But that site also has seen more positives in recent weeks.

“We’ve been seeing a lot of positives lately, though — a lot of children, like 5 to 9 years old,” said Samanta Binderyte, a lab worker at the Center for COVID control. “They’ve been getting sick a lot.”

And the concert kicks off as Chicago adds nine more states to its travel advisory list.

Chicago’s top doctor, Dr. Allison Arwady, continues to support the festival safety plans, acknowledging it’s likely some people will get COVID at the festival, while remaining hopeful there won’t be major issues since this is outdoors with precautions in place.

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