mayor lori lightfoot

Chicago Considers Hiring Workers to Enforce Social Distancing

Mayor Lightfoot discussed several ideas for reopening Chicago's lakefront after announcing the city's five phase reopening plan on Friday

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Chicago Mayor Lightfoot has floated the idea of hiring workers to enforce social distancing as she continues to decide how to safely open the city's lakefront, riverwalk and walking trails amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Lightfoot was asked about her plans for reopening the lakefront at a news conference Friday where she announced the city's five phase reopening plan.

The mayor stated that the reopening plan must be "guided by science," and she's considering multiple possibilities, such as a phased reopening and employing the use of "social distancing ambassadors."

Ambassadors have been added in cities like Seattle to remind people about social distancing and to record data on park usage, according to KING-TV, the NBC affiliate in Seattle. In that city, ambassadors have been instructed to close any park where usage is too high or when people are not following social distancing rules.

On Friday, Lightfoot said people have sent her interesting suggestions including the idea of having segmented hours for different recreational activities. The mayor added that she'll continue to talk with Chicago Park District officials and aldermen to figure out a "plan that makes sense" and is guided by public health.

Lightfoot closed the lakefront, the Chicago Riverfront and the 606 Trail in late March after the warm weather brought thousands to the lakefront in defiance of the state's stay-at-home order and social distancing guidelines.

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