No more walks by the beach.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot officially closed Chicago’s Lakefront, adjacent parks, beaches, trails, and Riverwalk in an announcement earlier today. While many aldermen already closed these public areas in their ward, the new order applies to all of these public areas in Chicago.
The mayor said that while Chicagoans were abiding by the order for the most part, gathering in public areas remains an issue. Yesterday, many flocked to the Lakefront and public parks to enjoy the warm weather. Some were also seen playing basketball and running along the 606 trail, which is also closed.
“While our parks and other green spaces offer residents a brief respite during this stay at home order, we simply must take action to prevent the large gatherings that are putting our public health at risk,” said Mayor Lightfoot. “As we work tirelessly to flatten the curve and prevent the spread of COVID-19, we need people to stay at home as much as possible. Our order to temporarily close access to the Lakefront and restrict gatherings has now become a necessary step in our effort to protect people, and to get our city through this crisis as quickly as possible.”
The Chicago Police are enforcing this new closure with a three-part proceedure. If someone is found disobeying the order, police are to first warn the offender, then issue a citation, and lastly arrest the individual. Yesterday, police were ordered to disperse people by the water. Chicagoans could also be fined up to $500 if seen breaking Gov Pritzker’s stay-at-home ordinance from last week.
Chicagoans are still allowed to go on walks and runs so long as they are short and not along Lakefront, adjacent parks, beaches, or trails. Basically, Chicagoans must stay near their homes when getting fresh air. They can also walk their dogs, go to the grocery store and other essential businesses, and pick-up food at restaurants so long as they practice social distancing.
Feature photo: @hllycthrn