Nov 12, 2020 - Health

Chicago issues stay-at-home advisory as COVID-19 cases spike

An empty downtown Chicago.
Photo: KAMIL KRZACZYNSKI/AFP via Getty Images

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Thursday announced a stay-at-home advisory and a 10-person cap on social gatherings to combat a surge in new COVID-19 infections.

Why it matters: Lightfoot warned that Chicago could see 1,000 or more additional coronavirus-related deaths this year if steps are not taken to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Chicago has recorded an average of 1,920 cases a day over the last seven days, up from an average of 1,410 daily cases the week prior, per data from the city's Department of Public Health.

  • Lightfoot urged citizens to fight off "COVID fatigue" and resist the urge to gather with extended family members over the holidays.
  • Though the stay-home order is an advisory, the limit on gatherings is mandatory. "[I]t remains to be seen how the city plans to enforce either" the Chicago Sun-Times notes.
  • The restrictions will go into effect on Nov. 16 at 6:00 a.m. CT.

What she's saying: “Chicago has reached a critical point in the second surge of COVID-19, demanding that we undertake this multi-faceted and comprehensive effort to stop the virus in its tracks,” Mayor Lightfoot said in a news release.

  • “The gains we have made this past year have been the result of our willingness to work together," she added.
  • "Even in this difficult moment, we will continue to unite as we always have for our city in order to halt the rise we’re seeing, shake out of the fatigue we’ve been experiencing, and make the crucial difference in what our future is going to look like.”

The big picture: A nationwide spike in new cases has already seen at least four states — New York, Connecticut, Minnesota and New Jersey — announce a 10 p.m. curfew for bars, restaurants and gyms.

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