The city of Chicago along with the rest of Illinois will fully reopen this coming Friday!
During a live stream, Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady last week revealed that Chicago will move into Phase 5 this coming Friday, more than three weeks sooner than the previously anticipated date of July 4. In other words, that means a full reopening ending all capacity limits and restrictions at bars, restaurants, and businesses across the city.
The news comes as COVID-19 metrics are showing a huge plunge in cases, hospitalizations, and deaths in Chicago but also across the whole state. In the live stream, Dr. Allison Arwady said that Chicago was now down to an average of 135 new cases every day citing that the city is making “fantastic progress” with a 2 percent positivity rate “the lowest it’s been since the pandemic started back in March.”
Discussing the statistics Mayor Lori Lightfoot said “I’m excited. I think we’ve done great work as a city, lots of individual sacrifices along the way, so I think we’re ready to move to phase 5 with the state next Friday, June 11. “What do you think?” To which Arwady responded, “I agree. I agree. Now is the time to do this. You know, these numbers are looking so good right now.”
Gov. JB Pritzker had already announced that the rest of Illinois would be moving into Phase 5 but Chicago was, until the live stream, still expected to follow suit next month. After over a year of restrictions including capacity limits, early closures, and social distancing guidelines, Chicago will return to some kind of normalcy we were used to before the pandemic with zero capacity restrictions and large-scale events and festivals scheduled to take place throughout the summer.
Mayor Lightfoot did, however, quickly warn Chicago not to get carried away saying “before people uncork the champagne and have beers all around, a note of caution: COVID is still here, still with us and why we are able to do what we are doing, no doubt, is because of the vaccinations. We want to get to that 75% threshold.”
Safety measures will continue outside of businesses, and some businesses may make their own decisions on lifting restrictions on capacity limits. Masks will still be required on public transit, in schools, and in healthcare settings., remain in place, and many businesses may still require patrons to wear masks in their buildings and continue to limit capacity.
You can watch the full live stream here: