While Chicago continues to see progress in combating the coronavirus infection rate, city officials say they're following reports of surges elsewhere closely - to help make sure Chicago doesn't follow the same path.
"Under no circumstances should our move to phase four be confused with this crisis being over," Mayor Lori Lightfoot said at a news conference Monday. "COVID-19 is still very much part of our presence in Chicago, and it will be for the foreseeable future."
Even though the city is set to enter phase four of its reopening plan Friday, health officials said, if they see a large increase in cases, Chicago could move back to phase three at any point.
All four of Illinois' health regions currently remain on track to also enter phase four Friday. In Chicago, health officials and city leaders caution that a resurgence in cases is "more than a possibility."
"While we're trending down...other places are trending up," Mayor Lightfoot said. "And we need to make sure we keep moving in the right direction..."
Phase four of the "Restore Illinois" plan allows for the reopening or expansion of several industries, including indoor dining at restaurants, health and fitness, movies and theaters, museums and zoos and more. This next phase also increases the size of gatherings that are allowed from 10 people to a maximum of 50 people.
In order for the city to continue to make progress, city officials said, precautions like social distancing, wearing masks and following hand hygiene are necessary.
In all, a total of 50,635 coronavirus cases and 2,523 deaths have been reported in Chicago since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.