The city of Chicago issued cease and desist orders to businesses that hosted illegal parties in "egregious" violations of COVID-19 regulations this past weekend, according to the city's Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection.
While an investigation into more than 150 businesses found a "high level of compliance" with city regulations and state-imposed mitigation measures, two businesses and a third establishment were shut down for throwing parties with hundreds of people in attendance, BACP officials said.
In line with an order issued by the Chicago Department of Public Health on Oct. 23, all city residents are being asked to avoid social gatherings of more than six people and end all gatherings by 10 p.m.
According to state-issued mitigations triggered by a rising positivity rate in the city, gatherings must be limited to no more than 25 people or 25% of an overall room capacity.
In stark violation of the restrictions, Chicago Sports Complex, 2600 W. 35th St., had a gathering with more than 600 people who weren't wearing face coverings of practicing social distancing, city officials said.
At DDC Studios, 6107 W. Diversey Ave., approximately 200 individuals attended a party and also weren't practicing the recommended mitigation measures.
A party hosted by unknown individuals at 2147 S. Lumber Street was also broken up by BACP. Approximately 75 people were in attendance and not taking part in social distancing, according to officials.
“I want to applaud our business community for their continued commitment to keeping our community safe throughout the COVID-19 pandemic,” BACP Commissioner Rosa Escareno said in the news release. “While blatant disregard for our COVID-19 regulations puts our entire community at risk and will not be tolerated, the vast majority of Chicago’s businesses are doing what is necessary to protect the health of their patrons and employees.”
City officials also learned of a Halloween party, located at 1900 N. Austin Ave., through Eventbrite, and were able to cancel the gathering before it took place. More than 500 people planned to attend, according to BACP.