Mayor Lori Lightfoot Says COVID-19 Felt Like ‘Bad Cold,’ Heads to Washington, D.C.

Video: Our Spotlight Politics team talks about Chicago’s violence, the latest from Washington, and much more. (Produced by Alex Silets)

Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Tuesday that she has fully recovered from her bout with COVID-19, and said it felt like “a bad cold.”

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“Luckily, I recovered pretty quickly,” Lightfoot told reporters at an unrelated news conference, hours before travelling to Washington, D.C., to attend the U.S. Conference of Mayor's 90th Annual Winter Meeting.

Lightfoot tested positive on Jan. 11, less than 24 hours after holding a City Hall news conference, where she spoke without a mask, to announce that an agreement had been reached with the Chicago Teachers Union to allow approximately 330,000 Chicago students to return to in-person classes five days after union members voted to work remotely.

Lightfoot did not remove her mask during Tuesday’s news conference, in keeping with guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control that allow those who test positive for COVID-19 to end their isolation after five days as long as their symptoms are resolving and they wear a well-fitting mask for a total of 10 days after their initial positive test.

Lightfoot said she would follow that guidance.

“I think it is a matter of prudence,” Lightfoot said.

Until the surge of COVID-19 driven by the omicron variant, Lightfoot typically wore a cloth mask, often emblazoned with a star from Chicago’s flag. Lightfoot on Tuesday wore a mask that appeared to be a black KN95 mask, which CDC officials recommended as more effective at preventing disease transmission.

Lightfoot said she felt “very comfortable” traveling to Washington, D.C. and had been given the green light to go by Dr. Allison Arwady, the commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health.

Lightfoot’s office said she plans to “meet with other mayors from across the country and share best practices on a range of topics [and] meet with senior officials from the Biden Administration.”

Lightfoot plans to return to Chicago on Friday, her spokesperson said.

Note: This story was originally published Jan. 18. It has been updated to include our “Chicago Tonight” discussion.

Contact Heather Cherone: @HeatherCherone | [email protected] (773) 569-1863

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