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With Covid-19 infections and hospitalizations rising at an alarming rate, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced Thursday the issuance of new restrictions, including a stay-at-home advisory, aimed at stemming the spread of the disease, and also requested that all residents cancel Thanksgiving plans with extended family.
The stay-at-home advisory is set to begin on Monday and is scheduled to stay in place for at least 30 days.
Lightfoot said at a press conference Thursday that Chicago has reached a “critical point” in the second surge of the coronavirus within the city, somberly adding, “this is serious life and death.”
The new restrictions include avoiding all non-essential, out-of-state travel, asking residents to leave home only to go to work or school, or for essential needs such as seeking medical care and going to the grocery store or pharmacy.
A 10-person limit on meetings and social events will also take effect on Monday.
“You must cancel the normal Thanksgiving plans, particularly if they include guests that do not live in your immediate household,” said Lightfoot.
Illinois has been one of the epicenters of the recent surge of the virus that continues to plague the United States. At least 147 new coronavirus deaths and 12,384 new infections were reported in the state on Wednesday. Over the past week, there has been an average of 11,362 new cases per day in Illinois, a shocking increase of 127% from the daily average just two weeks ago. Chicago Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady stated that the positivity rate in the city of Chicago is now above 14%. “I’m very concerned we could be looking at tens of thousands of more cases, which would overwhelm the healthcare system and lead to hundreds more deaths,” said Arwady. In Chicago’s southwest neighborhoods comprising the ZIP code 60629, the positivity rate has climbed to 26.3%. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, in those neighborhoods, which have a combined population of 111,850, one in every 14 residents has been infected with Covid-19, and one in every 874 residents has died. “If we continue on the path we’re on,” Lightfoot said Thursday, “we could see at least a thousand more Chicagoans die” by the end of 2020.
The midwest has been hit partially hard during this most recent coronavirus surge. Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin combined reported more than 24,000 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday. According to NBC News, that equates to approximately “1,000 new cases each hour – or a new case every four seconds – in those three states alone over the previous 24 hours.”
“We are sounding the alarm that we are at this inflection point where we have to do more than we’ve already done,” said Lightfoot.
Lightfoot issues stay-home ‘advisory,’ puts 10-person limit on social gatherings (CST)
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