Chicago Department of Public Health Guidance on Unhealthy Air Quality in Chicago

Air quality in Chicago was rated as “very unhealthy” on Tuesday, June 27, 2023 according to Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) air monitors, due to smoke from wildfires in Canada. An Air Quality Alert is in effect until midnight on Wednesday, June 28, 2023, with recommendations that all Chicagoans – and particularly sensitive populations, including individuals with heart or lung disease, older adults, pregnant people, and young children – avoid outdoor activities and take precautions to protect themselves from exposure.

CDPH will be monitoring the situation closely and will issue follow up guidance as needed. For the duration of the Air Quality Alert, all individuals, and particularly sensitive populations should:

  • Avoid spending time outdoors. If you must go outside, keep outdoor activity short and wear a KN95 or N95 mask while outside if you are able 
  • Stay indoors and keep your indoor air as clean as possible by not smoking, using candles or vacuuming 
  • Follow your doctor’s advice if you have asthma, lung or cardiovascular disease. Some symptoms of breathing smoke include wheezing, chest pain, shortness of breath, and trouble breathing. If your symptoms worsen, call your physician or 911 
  • Use an air filter if you have one 
  • Limit driving a vehicle if possible  
  • Stay tuned to local news media advisories
  • Keep windows and doors closed and turn on your air conditioner if you have one. Seek shelter elsewhere if you do not have an air conditioner and your home is too warm. For Chicagoans without access to properly ventilated and safe indoor conditions, please utilize public libraries, senior centers, Park District facilities, and the Cultural Center, or the six community service centers that operate from 9am-5pm:

Englewood Center – 1140 W. 79th Street
Garfield Center – 10 S. Kedzie Ave. (24 Hours)
King Center – 4314 S. Cottage Grove
North Area Center – 845 W. Wilson Ave.  
South Chicago Center – 8650 S. Commercial Ave.  
Trina Davila Center – 4312 W. North Ave. 
To learn more about air quality in our area and monitor for updates from the U.S. EPA, visit Residents can also sign up to receive NotifyChicago alerts at or
download the OEMC App through the Apple App or Google play stores for public safety tips and alerts.