CHICAGO – Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, in response to the city’s current COVID-19 situation, has issued a citywide edict, ordering bars that do not serve food to shut down indoor service.
The order takes effect Friday, July 24. The order also includes restaurants and other business. Restaurant tables will be capped at six people. Fitness classes will be limited to 10 people while personal salon services like shaving and facials are banned.
The announcement comes after Lightfoot has made several statements since Chicago began to re-open that she wouldn’t hesitate to close things down as more people packed taverns across the city. At least two bars have been fined for exceeding capacity limits.
“We have made so much progress here in Chicago in containing the spread of the virus, protecting our health system and saving lives, and in general, the virus remains under control locally,” Lightfoot said. “But we are again seeing a steady increase in new While we aren’t near the peak of the pandemic from earlier this year, none of us wants to go back there, and we feel these restrictions will help limit further community spread.”
Lightfoot said she made the call because Chicago is back in a high-incidence state after topping 200 cases per day on a seven-day rolling average. The mayor said the increase is sparked by more cases among people 18-29, who continue to gather without social distancing in taverns, restaurants and parks. She, however, has not mentioned protests, riots or looting, and whether those large gatherings have contributed to an increase in cases.
Statewide, as labs are now testing nearly 50,000 people per day for COVID-19, the positively rate is hovering around 2.9%, and the death rate continues to fall. As of this report, there have been 162,750 cases–positive and presumptive–coronavirus infections in Illinois. The death toll is currently at 7,488.
As of Saturday, 1,356 people in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19. Of those, 320 patients were in the ICU and 132 were on ventilators.