COVID cases spike in 2 Chicago zip codes

Two Chicago zip codes are seeing a dangerous spike in COVID-19 cases.

Video Transcript

SARAH SCHULTE: Well, Rob, what is behind it is young people, which does not come as a surprise to them who live in this neighborhood. We are right on the border of both zip codes, and Alderman Michele Smith is calling on the city for more vaccination sites on the North Side.

Lincoln Park has the highest concentration of young people living in Chicago. And with rising temperatures outside, come rising COVID cases.

ERIN PIERCY: I feel like with the good weather right now, everybody is out and kind of just going to bars and everything.

TOM DELACEY: I would say that the majority of people that I know are getting together in gatherings. So no, it doesn't surprise me one bit that we're seeing numbers come up in this area.

SARAH SCHULTE: 26-year-old Tom Delacey just recovered from the virus after hanging out with a small group of friends for just 30 minutes. Right now, the 60614 and neighboring 60610 zip codes are leading the city in the number of new cases. And it's being driven by people ages 19 to 39.

MICHELE SMITH: We're very disappointed in those numbers and-- and really want the city to take action to help-- to help chase the disease.

SARAH SCHULTE: The city announced today a conference center next to Wrigley Field will be a mass vaccination site. But 43rd ward Alderman Michele Smith is calling for more North Side sites, possibly at a college campus, bars, or empty Lincoln Park storefronts. Some young residents agree easy access is needed.

JARREN MOODY: It would be helpful if we had, like, a really good spot for that kind of thing. Because I think that's what it is, really, people aren't vaccinated here.

SARAH SCHULTE: Until then, Alderman Smith wants to remind her younger residents and businesses to abide by the rules.

MICHELE SMITH: If these number of cases don't get under control, it will actually make it-- it may cause another shutdown.

SARAH SCHULTE: Restaurant and bar owners say they cannot afford another shutdown.

SCOTT WEINER: I actually think that my restaurants and bars are among the safest places to congregate. Because one, if you come here, we're going to make you wear a mask. We're going to make you respect social distancing.

SARAH SCHULTE: And Alderman Smith does say that the vast majority of bars and restaurants in her-- her ward do comply. But if they don't, she says call her office or 311.