Beyond the suspension of indoor bar service and a curfew for local businesses, new guidelines issued by the city also call on all Chicagoans to “avoid social gatherings of more than six people.” and to end all social gatherings before 10 pm ”.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced the new restrictions during a briefing Thursday. The restrictions will also force non-essential businesses to shut down before 10 p.m.
The city also recommended a maximum of six people “in your personal bubble” and that residents do not hold family gatherings with more than six people who are “non-members of the household.”
“These new restrictions and guidelines will be in effect for at least two weeks and are intended to help Chicago manage an alarming recent increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations,” the mayor’s office said in a statement.
The latest restrictions, which go into effect at 6 a.m. on Friday, include:
- Curfews for non-essential businesses from 10 p.m.
- In effect every evening from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.
- Last call to serve alcohol at 9 p.m.
- Take-out and curbside pickup at restaurants are still allowed
- Bars, brasseries and taverns without a food license, it is prohibited to operate a domestic service
- Increases accentuation current guidelines
- Max. 6 people in your personal bubble (for example, no gatherings in the household> 6 people of non-household members)
- Face cover in all indoor and outdoor public places
The city has warned that if the positivity rate rises above 8% for three consecutive days, the city will again close restaurants inside. Currently, the seven-day positivity rate is 6.4%, marking an increase that health experts say cannot be explained by an increase in testing.
Currently, Chicago is reporting on average more than 600 new cases of coronavirus per day, the “highest daily rate since the end of the first outbreak at the end of May,” officials said. On Thursday, Lightfoot said the average daily case rate rose more than 50% last week.
Chicago was recording a seven-day moving average of 508 new cases per day on Monday, according to the city’s coronavirus data dashboard. The increase marks a significant jump from the roughly 300 new cases per day on a moving average that the city was experiencing just three weeks earlier when restrictions were relaxed.
With the increase in cases comes a “worrying increase” in hospitalizations, officials said.
Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady on Thursday recalled the worrying parameters of the coronavirus as officials close indoor bar service, among other restrictions.
According to city data, hospitalizations for non-ICU COVID patients and suspected cases have increased 45% since September 22.
“We have no doubt, whether it’s in the second wave,” Lightfoot said Thursday. ” Here is what it looks like. “
She said that while the surge is not surprising, she attributed it largely to the fact that COVID thrives in places “where people let their guard down.”
Lightfoot had warned on Monday that some phase three restrictions could be reinstated as the city enters a “second wave” of coronavirus.
At a press conference to “sound the alarm” this week, Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said the city is not waiting for the prescribed 8% positivity threshold. by the state to increase restrictions.
The city has been in phase four of its reopening plan since June 26.
Then, on July 24, city officials changed course to shut down indoor bar service, lower capacity limits for fitness classes, and step up other restrictions as the city continued to see an increase in its numbers. average of new cases daily.
Lightfoot and Arwady announced last month that the city would ease some of the restrictions put in place to slow the spread of the coronavirus during phase four, re-allowing indoor bar service and increasing capacity limits for businesses, including restaurants, among other major changes.
The changes that came into effect on October 1 included increasing the indoor capacity of restaurants, health and fitness centers, personal services, non-essential retail and all other establishments by 25% to 40%.
Bars, breweries, taverns and other businesses that serve alcohol without a food license could also open seats indoors – closed since late July – at a 25% capacity for up to 50 people, officials said.