Chicago joins rest of Illinois in next phase of coronavirus reopening plan Friday

Illinois News

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – JUNE 22: A sign placed in the sand at North Avenue Beach warns visitors using the lakefront path to wear face masks on June 22, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois. Today Chicago opened the popular lakefront path and parks along the lake to visitors but, the beaches remain closed as the city continues to fight the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

CHICAGO — The City of Chicago will join the rest of Illinois for the next phase of reopening amid the COVID-19 pandemic on Friday.

Chicago’s reopening had been on a slower pace than Illinois, but health officials say the metrics for reopening have been met.

With Phase 4, museums can open up with 25% capacity. Zoos can allow visitors who make reservations in advance. Meeting spaces can resume with fewer than 50 people.

With this phase, gyms will also be allowed to move to a 50% capacity limit. Indoor dining options will also open up, but will be capped at 25% capacity.

Gov. JB Pritzker said with these changes, Illinois will bring back about 7% of the state’s workforce, accounting for about $30 billion in annual GDP.

However, with all of these moves, officials still say the work to slow the spread of COVID-19 is not over yet.

“It’s because of the shared commitment and sacrifice of all Chicago residents and businesses that we’re able now to safely take the next step,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot said at a news conference Monday.

“So moving to Phase 4 does not mark the end of COVID-19. It marks the beginning of another step forward and another opportunity for you in Chicago to double down on the things you know to keep us safe,” said Dr. Allison Arwady, commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health.

Another difference in Chicago due to a denser population than other regions—spectator sports with fans will not be permitted.

The rest of the state will allow outdoor sports with no more than 20 percent capacity.

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