With Chicago preparing to move into Phase Three of its phased reopening plan next week, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is imploring city residents to keep up their guard against coronavirus.
During prepared remarks on Saturday, Lightfoot said that city residents have helped to slow the spread of the illness through their efforts so far, and expressed hope that they could continue to do even as more businesses and recreational activities are allowed to reopen and resume.
“For the last eight weeks we’ve all been focused on trying to save lives as a result of the spread of this terrible COVID-19 virus, and we’re starting to see the fruits of those labors, which is why we’re going to be slowly opening up the city of Chicago,” she said. “A lot of work and energy has gone into this, not just on the part of city workers but on the part of individual Chicagoans have stood tall in this incredible, stressful, difficult, fearful moment. The progress we’ve made on the various health metrics is directly a result of all the work and sacrifice of individual Chicagoans, and I want to make sure all that work isn’t for naught.”
According to data from the Illinois Department of Public Health, 44,666 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in the city of Chicago since the pandemic began, and 2,075 deaths have been attributed to the virus within city limits.
Even with those numbers, city officials believe that the state’s stay-at-home order and the city’s enforcement of that order have helped to flatten the curve of new cases and hospitalizations in the city, and as a result, Chicago will move into Phase Three of its reopening plan on Wednesday.
Despite that move forward, Lightfoot cautioned that coronavirus is still a present threat, and that adhering to social distancing guidelines and wearing facial coverings will be key to preventing a resurgence of the virus.
“COVID-19 hasn’t disappeared because we set June 3 as a date to cautiously reopen,” she said. “It’s very much a part of our present, and it will be for the foreseeable future. We must continue to be diligent.”
Beginning June 3, a variety of Chicago businesses will be allowed to reopen with social distancing and other guidelines in place, including hair salons, non-essential retailers, manufacturing sites and childcare facilities. Restaurants and bars will be allowed to open outdoor seating areas as well, in accordance with state guidelines.