Chicago mayor implements ‘business curfew’ as coronavirus cases rise

Midwest

CHICAGO (NewsNation Now) — Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot announced a business curfew beginning Friday. The curfew was prompted by a rise in coronavirus cases across the city.

Now, indoor bar service will be suspended and non-essential business will close nightly at 10 p.m. Liquor sales will end at 9 p.m. and gatherings will be limited to six people or less.

The curfew restrictions will be in place for two weeks.

“The data is clear – we are now in a second surge of COVID-19 and I am extremely concerned,” Lightfoot said. “Now is the time to double down on what we know works and come together as a city to flatten the curve once again.”

The following citywide updates will go into effect on Friday, Oct. 23 at 6:00 a.m.

  • Business curfew on non-essential businesses beginning at 10:00 p.m.
    • In effect nightly from 10:00 PM-6:00 a.m.
    • Last call for serving liquor at 9:00 p.m.
    • Take-out and curb-side pick-up at restaurants still permitted
  • Bars, breweries, and taverns without a food license are prohibited from operating any indoor service
  • Increased emphasis of current guidelines
    • Max. 6 people in your personal bubble (e.g., no household gatherings >6 people of non-household members)
    • Face coverings in all indoor and outdoor public settings

City health officials said cases have risen by more than 50 percent over the past two weeks, increasing at a rate last seen in March and April. The 7-day average of cases has continued to rise, reaching 645 cases per day as of October 20, the highest level seen since late May.

While this increase coincided with a rise in testing to a 7-day average of more than 11,000 a day as of October 15, the percent of tests that came back positive over that period also rose to 6.4 percent, according to City data.

There has also been an increase in hospitalizations, which are up 25 percent for non-ICU COVID patients and suspected cases since September 22.

The state of Illinois is also rolling out new COVID-19 restrictions Friday. Governor J.B. Pritzker said Will, Kankakee, Kane, and DuPage counties will operate with no indoor dining or indoor bar service and limited in-person gatherings with more than 25 individuals.

NewsNation affiliate WGN contributed to this report.

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