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Want a COVID test? Get in line.

By Sidney Madden | @sidney_madden_


‘Tis the season for COVID-19 tests — if you can get one. 

Your fav newsletter writer (👋) ran around Lakeview looking for at-home tests Tuesday. But my local pharmacies, a Walgreens in Avalon Park, and a Walmart in Little Village were all out, a citywide trend

At-home tests aren’t as effective as PCR tests, aka the gold standard of COVID-19 tests, but they’re still able to detect a high viral load — especially in symptomatic cases. 

Going to a testing center isn’t any easier these days: City Cast’s Simone Alicea and I both waited at different North Side facilities for more than an hour Tuesday to get tested before the holidays. 

And we weren’t the only ones. 

Uptown resident Steve Glick, 72, told Simone he was getting tested since his boyfriend, a health care worker, is now working at the COVID-19 unit at the hospital. 

A 24-year-old server said she was getting tested after learning a dozen close contacts tested positive, including a roommate and co-workers. 

Meanwhile, Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced proof of vaccination would be required for restaurants, bars, and gyms — after the new year. 

So I guess we’re stuck in line for now, huh? 

🎧 Listen to Block Club Chicago’s Kelly Bauer break down Lightfoot’s vaccine mandate and the mayor’s promises on violence.

👉 Get vaccinated at city or state-run sites. Get tested


▪️ Should Lightfoot be quarantining after staffers who went to her holiday party tested positive? [Chicago Tribune’s Gregory Pratt]

▪️ Chicago’s last Black-owned bank is in trouble. [ProPublica]

▪️ “A Christmas Carol” is added to the list of performances canceled because of COVID-19 exposure. [Goodman Theatre; City Cast]

▪️ Get your 2022 parking pass before New Year’s Day. [City of Chicago]

▪️ Dreaming of a White Christmas? Keep dreaming, my dude. [National Weather Service]

▪️ Eli’s has been hit by the cream cheese shortage 😞 [Eater Chicago]


Reader Raisa Blazquez is gifting her friends and fam knowledge, wit, and humor this holiday season by referring them to the City Cast newsletter. 

You can do the same — it’s the season of giving! Start referring now 🎁


+ TODAY: Chicago Park District winter camp sign-ups
Enroll your kids in camps in Bridgeport, Lincoln Park, West Town, and more.

+ THIS WEEK: ChiTown Movies holiday drive-in
See “Elf,” “The Muppet Christmas Carol,” and more at the Pilsen drive-in

+ THIS MONTH: Jack Frost’s pop-up
Check out the Christmas tree farm at the Goose Island pop-up until Jan. 2.


Have extra miles? Donate them to a holiday campaign through Chicago-based United Airlines that helps fund people’s flights to visit terminally ill loved ones. 

Volunteers are trying to fundraise for 40 flights this holiday season.

Now, they’re only six flights away from their goal! 

👉 Donate to the Give a Mile fund if you can.

Credit: Give A Mile Instagram