CHICAGO — Mayor Lori Lightfoot has tested positive for COVID-19, she said Tuesday.
The mayor, who revealed her diagnosis in a tweet, said she is experiencing “cold-like symptoms” but feels “fine.” Lightfoot’s announcement comes as Chicago — and all of the United States — is seeing a surge in COVID-19 surges due to the Omicron variant, which is thought to be more contagious.
“Earlier today, I tested positive for COVID-19,” Lightfoot wrote on Twitter. “I am experiencing cold-like symptoms but otherwise feel fine which I credit to being vaccinated and boosted. I will continue to work from home while following the CDC guidelines for isolation.
“This is an urgent reminder for folks to get vaccinated and boosted as it’s the only way to beat this pandemic.”
Lightfoot’s positive test Tuesday came just hours after the city and Chicago Public Schools reached a deal during high-profile negotiations with the Chicago Teachers Union over in-person learning.
The union had pushed for virtual learning to protect students, school staff and communities as Chicago’s cases and positivity rate have climbed. Lightfoot was among those who fought back, pushing for in-person learning and saying the best way for people to be protected was to get vaccinated.
The back-and-forth made national headlines, with teachers refusing to return to in-person learning for several days.
CPS and the union made a deal Monday night, and Lightfoot appeared at a news conference with staffers and reporters.
The Mayor’s Office has not been immune from the surge in cases.
Lightfoot was criticized by some for holding a staff party in December, after which some members of the Mayor’s Office tested positive but she did not quarantine, according to reports. Lightfoot criticized reporters who asked about the party, saying her staff had worn masks and she tests regularly because she interacts with the public and wants to protect herself, her team and her family.
Some members of the Mayor’s Office also have been working from home in recent weeks due to exposures. Questioned about that, Lightfoot said it was “disingenuous” to compare the city’s remote work policy to the teachers union’s demands for virtual learning.
Lightfoot received her vaccination and booster shots publicly and has encouraged others to get the shots so they can be protected against COVID-19.
The vaccines have been shown to offer protection against catching the virus, and especially against severe illness and death.
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