While it remains unclear when exactly Chicago will enter phase three of its reopening plan, many residents are questioning when they will once again be allowed along the city's beloved lakefront.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said in a one-on-one interview with NBC 5 Tuesday that she does plan on reopening "at some point this summer."
"I think sooner rather than later," she said. "However, when I look at the work that we did prior to the closure to talk about social distancing, talk about the dangers of congregating - why it was important to move on and not just stay on the lakefront- all of it was for naught. Now, it's a different moment than where we were weeks ago when we closed the lakefront."
Last week, Lightfoot said she didn't see the lakefront reopening in phase three. But on Tuesday, she noted that she could see it reopening - with some changes.
"I think there are ways in which we could open the lakefront safely, but there are going to be limits," Lightfoot said. "There are going to be limits on the kind of activity, there are going to be limits on the amount of people."
She noted the city is working on guidance for residents.
"When the time is right from a public health standpoint we will communicate what that guidance should be, put the infrastructure in place to make sure that that guidance is actually maintained and then we'll open up the lakefront," she said.
Though the city sits within a region that is so far on track to reopen as early as May 29, Lightfoot has not given a timeline for when the city might enter its next stage of reopening.
"I can't give you a precise date as much as I want to," she said, noting that the city has made "incredible progress," particularly in the last week.
Earlier this week, Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said the city could be on track to begin loosening some restrictions in June.
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"We're really thinking about June because if things keep going the way we are, we'll be in a good place," she said.
Lightfoot likened the city's reopening to slowly turning on a dimmer rather than flipping a switch.
As of Tuesday, less than two weeks remained in Illinois' stay-at-home order, but the state's four health regions can begin entering phase three in as early as May 29 - if they meet the required metrics.
The four reopening regions — Northeast, North Central, Central and Southern — all remained on track to do so as of Tuesday.
Here's a look at the criteria Chicago must meet in order to enter phase three:
• COVID-19 Case Rate (over 14 days, as a rolling average):
o Declining rate of new cases, based on incidence and/or percent positivity
• Severe Outcome Rate (over 14 days, as a rolling average):
o Stable or declining rates of cases resulting in hospitalization, ICU admission, and/or death
• Hospital Capacity Citywide (over 14 days, as a rolling average):
o Hospital beds: <1800 COVID patients
o ICU beds: <600 COVID patients
o Ventilators: <450 COVID patients
• Testing Capacity:
o Test at least 5% of Chicago residents per month
• Testing Percent Positivity Rates (over 14 days, as a rolling average):
o Congregate: <30% positive tests
o Community: <15% positive tests
• Syndromic Surveillance (over 14 days, as a rolling average):
o Declining emergency department visits for influenza-like illness and/or COVID-like illness
• Case Investigation & Contact Tracing:
o Expanded system in place for congregate and community investigations and