You’ll have to cool off somewhere else for a while.
Yesterday, Mayor Lori Lightfoot reopened splash pools to the public, but stated that beaches and swimming pools will remain closed for the forseeable future.
Over the past month, Chicago has reopened a number of public facilities as the city transitions from phase to phase of its reopening plan. Now in Phase 4, the city has reopened parts of the Lakefront, The 606, Navy Pier, The Riverwalk, bars, breweries, and restaurants for limited indoor seating, libraries, zoos, and more to the public.
Beaches, however, are still closed, and with temperatures on the rise in Chicago, many citizens are looking for a way to cool down. In an effort to help citizens get some relief from the heat, the mayor has ordered that splash pools in parks be reopened for children and adults.
Beaches and swimming pools, according to the mayor, pose a larger hazard as gathering places for large groups of people, and therefore create a greater threat of spreading the disease.
“The challenge with the beaches — and with swimming pools, let’s just add that in — is that they are ripe for congregate gathering and not social distancing,” said the mayor.
“Given where we are — which is progress, but we have some concerns — we’re not gonna take any steps that could tip us … backwards. So, for now, the beaches and swimming pools will remain closed.”
With the weather forecast predicting a series of scattered thunderstorms in Chicago this week, the closure of beaches won’t pose much of a problem for residents. However, with temperatures climbing as we get deeper and deeper into the summer heat, it could be a problem. In response to this, Lightfoot announced other ways in which the city was helping citizens cool down:
“We’ve got cooling centers that we’ve opened up. We’ve got cooling buses that are gonna be available. We’re gonna be opening up the splash pools in the parks so that adults and children can get some relief,” Lightfoot said.
“But I don’t see a circumstance yet because I don’t think the public health metrics will allow for it where we’re gonna be opening up the beaches or swimming pools.”
[Featured image: @lev.kaytsner]