Chicago beaches

‘It's Called a Pandemic, People:' Mayor Lightfoot Blasts Crowd Near Montrose Beach

Mayor Lori Lightfoot/Twitter

While Chicago's beaches remain closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, dozens of people gathered in an area near the city's Montrose Beach Saturday, prompting criticism from Mayor Lori Lightfoot.

Lightfoot posted a social media showing several individuals, many of them who appeared to not be abiding by social distancing guidelines, in a grassy area near boat docks.

"It's called a pandemic, people," the mayor tweeted. "This reckless behavior on Montrose Beach is what will cause us to shut down the parks and lakefront. Don't make us take steps backwards."

The mayor also tweeted she "stopped by to see for herself," and the situation is being addressed.

While Chicago's Lakefront Trail and harbors have reopened, all playgrounds, pools, and beaches east of Lake Shore Drive remain closed as a result of restrictions imposed to slow the spread of the coronavirus, according to the Chicago Park District.

Restaurants along the lakefront were allowed to open for the first time this summer on Wednesday.

Even though some restrictions have eased, increases in the number of coronavirus cases have been reported in recent days.

On Saturday, for the second day in a row, the state of Illinois reported more than 2,000 new coronavirus cases.

Illinois also passed a new testing milestone as more than three million tests have now been performed statewide during the pandemic.

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