CHICAGO (CBS) — Rising COVID-19 cases have caused a major LGBTQ health provider to pull out of Pride.
The Chicago Pride Parade – usually held the last Sunday in June – was rescheduled for Sunday, Oct. 3 this year. Howard Brown Health will not be a part of it.READ MORE: Northwestern University Bans All Social Activities At Campus Fraternities Until At Least Mid-October After Reports Of Drugging
“The recent spikes in COVID-19 infections in neighboring states are alarming, and history shows Chicago will not be immune to a surge. I’m especially concerned about communities on the South and West Sides of the city which have been impacted the most by the pandemic,” David Ernesto Munar, President and Chief Executive Officer of Howard Brown Health, said in a news release. “Events on the North Side inevitably impact all parts of the city. Future lockdowns are assured unless we undertake mitigation strategies now.”
The staff at Howard Brown is strongly urging event planners to stop the spread with stricter COVID rules — including capacity limits, strict social distancing enforcement, mask requirements, and COVID-19 vaccine verification.READ MORE: Evanston Police Called To A Stabbing, Fatal Shooting Incident
Howard Brown wants to see such rules at events like Pride and Northalsted Market Days – which is going on as usual this August after being called off last year. Both events attract people from all over the country.
Howard Brown said it will also be absent from the Bud Billiken Parade and will not have its Halloween fundraiser event, the Big Orange Ball — with all its programming instead moving to virtual platforms for the “foreseeable future.”MORE NEWS: Family Remembers Azul De La Garza, Young Woman Shot And Killed In West Elsdon, As 'Beautiful Soul' With A Future In Art
“The pandemic is far from over, and Chicago businesses need to act now to prevent further spikes in severe COVID-19 disease that can lead to hospitalizations or death,” Dr. Cathy Creticos, Director of Infectious Diseases at Howard Brown Health, said in the release.