coronavirus illinois

Pritzker Warns Against Large Gatherings After Video Apparently Shows Chicago House Party

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A video purportedly showing a massive house party on Chicago’s West Side has prompted strong reactions from Governor J.B. Pritzker, who blasted partygoers for putting everyone around them in danger.

During his daily coronavirus press briefing Sunday, Pritzker criticized the individuals seen in the video, who were jammed into a single room of a home in what the governor called a violation of the state’s “stay-at-home” order.

“By standing together, not social distancing and not wearing masks, you’re literally putting everyone around you in danger,” Pritzker said. “They’re putting you in danger, and very importantly, all of those people are putting their families and friends who are not there with them in danger.”

 The video, posted by Facebook user Tink Purcell, showed hundreds of people at the party (warning: the video contains graphic language and has not been edited), and had been shared more than 60,000 times and been viewed more than 1.3 million times.  

While the time and place where the video was shot have not been independently verified, Pritzker says such gatherings are dangerous, as it becomes easy to spread the coronavirus in close quarters.

“First, you are asymptomatic, but you are a carrier,” Pritzker said. “And you might feel just fine, and you’ll go home, but you still might give it to people in your home. They’ll see your friends, you’ll feel fine, and then you’ll give it to more of your friends. And then, you are a spreader of COVID-19.”

Chicago police say they are looking into the matter, but have not been able to confirm details of the video.

Authorities in Chicago have issued citations for large groups that have gathered during the stay-at-home order, and while Pritzker says that is not what he wants to ultimately happen, he has empowered police to do so if they are left with no other option.

“We have asked police and other law enforcement to remind people when they see them not following social distancing norms that they need to be doing those things,” Pritzker said. “If you’re putting the community in danger (at a party), that should be broken up.”

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