(NOTE: Daily press conferences from Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot will be streamed live in the player above. Check back for updates.)
Chicago has issued a new travel order requiring anyone who comes to the city from certain states to quarantine for 14 days.
The order begins after the holiday weekend but has left many in Illinois and the city with questions.
Here are the latest developments on the coronavirus crisis today (July 3):
Illinois Reports 868 New Cases of Coronavirus at Start of Fourth of July Weekend
The Illinois Department of Public Health confirmed 868 new cases of coronavirus Friday, along with 18 additional deaths at the start of the Fourth of July holiday weekend.
According to state officials, 145,750 cases of the virus have now been confirmed across the state, with a total of 7,005 fatalities confirmed during the ongoing pandemic.
As of Friday, 34,318 coronavirus tests returned to state labs in Illinois. That brings the state’s total to 1,700,635 since the pandemic began.
The rolling positivity rate over the last seven days statewide remained static, sitting at 2.6 percent, according to health officials.
How Will Chicago Enforce New Quarantine Restriction for Travelers?
The city of Chicago warned of daily fines for anyone who violates a new emergency travel order requiring those who visit states currently experiencing a rise in coronavirus cases to quarantine for 14 days.
Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said Friday the city won't necessarily be tracking every traveler in the state.
"We really are asking people primarily to do the right thing here," she said.
According to the order, those in violation of the quarantine are subject to fines of $100 - $500 per day, up to $7,000.
"We're not saying that people aren't allowed to travel but that when they return they have to quarantine for 14 days," Arwady said.
She noted that while the city won't be pulling over people with out-of-state plates or creating a list of travelers, the order is aimed at discouraging non-essential travel.
"We tried to balance here the ability to keep the really essential things going but send a strong message to individuals and to businesses that unless there is an essential reason to travel now is not the time to do it," Arwady said.
No specifics were detailed on how the city will notify those found in violation.
Officials Urge Caution as Crowds and Gatherings Expected Over Holiday Weekend
Illinois officials urged residents to use caution when heading out during the holiday weekend.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike issued a plea for businesses to comply with phase four guidelines as states across the country continue to see "rapid increases."
“The virus is not taking the holiday weekend off, and neither can we. Letting our guard down now would fly in the face of the progress we’ve made over many months,” Pritzker said in a statement Friday. “We have seen that mitigation measures have worked in our state and we’ve seen too many other states rapidly lose ground in the fight against the virus. If establishments cannot abide by capacity requirements, I will not hesitate to close them to keep people safe. We must continue to take the proven steps that keep us safe: wear a face covering, watch your distance and wash your hands. While other parts of the country are refusing to follow the science and seeing their positivity rate and hospitalizations increase, Illinoisans have come together to keep each other safe. Let’s keep being all in for our communities.”
Ezike urged residents to avoid crowded bars and restaurants and cautioned those who do go out to maintain distance and wear a face covering.
“Bars, by design, are social settings where people gather closely together for extended periods of time. Additionally, people often need to raise their voices or shout to be heard, which means droplets from seemingly well but infected individuals could spread further than the recommended 6 feet of distancing,” Ezike said in a statement. “All of these factors increase the risk of transmission and can lead to more cases and outbreaks."
The state warned bars and restaurants that liquor licenses could be revoked and businesses could be immediately shut down if found in violation of the guidelines. Casinos face license revocation as well if found to be in violation of the safety requirements.
In the city, a similar plea was issued.
"Please be safe in all of the ways that you can," Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said Friday.
Officials with CDPH, the Chicago Park District and the Office of Emergency Management and Communications all reminded residents to maintain social distancing, wear masks and think twice before heading to a gathering.
"If you're going to be out on the lakefront, keep moving, again wear a mask, stay off the beaches," Chicago Park District Superintendent Mike Kelly said. "The beaches are closed, which also means stay out of the water."
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Thursday issued a warning to restaurants and bars that allowed massive crowds of people and long lines on the first weekend of indoor dining.
"We simply cannot have any large gatherings like we saw last weekend," Lightfoot said, calling the crowds and lines "foolish."
Lightfoot said it is a "make or break" weekend for restaurants and bars as the city has already started ramping up enforcement on phase four guidelines.
"I don't want to shut you down, but if you make me, I will," she said.
The Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection will issue citations with fines of up to $10,000 for social distancing, capacity limit and face covering violations, the mayor's office said.
In addition, investigators can now immediately close a Chicago business "in cases of egregious violation."
Under the guidelines, bars and restaurants can seat a max of 25% capacity or 50 people, whichever is fewer, and must stop serving alcohol at 11 p.m. They are also required to manage lines outside of their business.
The pleas come as states across the U.S. see surges of coronavirus cases, many shutting down bars and restaurants in an effort to quell or prevent a spike.
Chicago Officials Announce Plans to Keep Residents Safe in Holiday Weekend Heat
With hot and humid conditions expected throughout the Fourth of July holiday weekend, Chicago officials announced new plans for keeping residents safe in the heat.
Public health officials in the city on Friday announced resources and services "to help residents cope safely with extreme weather conditions amidst the COVID-19 pandemic that includes cooling centers throughout the city."
Officials said the city's "extreme heat plan" will be activated when the National Weather Service forecasts a heat index in excess of 105 to 110 degrees for at least two consecutive days.
The city's plan will include cooling centers, cooling buses, well-being checks and more, officials said. There will also be wellness checks for some of the area's most vulnerable populations, including homeless residents, seniors and people with disabilities.
Chicago Issues Travel Order, Requiring Anyone Traveling to, From These 15 States to Quarantine
Chicago issued an emergency travel order Thursday directing anyone who visits one of 15 states in the U.S. currently experiencing a rise in coronavirus cases to quarantine for 14 days.
Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said travelers entering or returning to Chicago from "states experiencing a surge in new COVID-19 cases" will need to quarantine "for a 14-day period from the time of last contact within the identified state."
The order is set to take effect at 12:01 a.m. Monday and remain in effect until further notice.
States included in the order are: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Nevada, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Utah.
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