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Chicago Police Break Up Two House Parties After Stay-At-Home Order

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Chicago police broke up at least two house parties Saturday night as dozens of people there defied orders to stay at home and keep away from large groups during the coronavirus pandemic.

Police got a call about a party in the Noble Square neighborhood. Officers showed up around midnight and found dozens of people inside a home near Greenview Avenue and Blackhawk Street. Officers then told everyone to leave.

Police Break Up House Parties
Chicago police break up a house party after the statewide stay-at-home order to stop the spread of coronavirus went into effect Saturday, March 21, 2020.

One woman leaving the party said around 30 people, mainly family and friends, attended.

Not too long after that police got a call for a large gathering in the Austin neighborhood at an apartment building in the 4900 block of West Van Buren.

Two men leaving the party were even wearing protective face masks.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Gov. JB Pritzker have been urging people to take the warning seriously and stay at home during this outbreak.

"The stay-at-home order is an opportunity for the rest of us to do our part to protect the people who are on the front lines of this fight and the people who are most vulnerable to its consequences," Pritzker said at his daily briefing Saturday. "I ask you to help them out by simply staying at home.

No one was arrested as a result of the parties.

The statewide stay-at-home order took effect at 5 p.m. Saturday afternoon. Under the order, people will still be able to go out to get food from the grocery, get medical supplies from the pharmacy, visit their doctors or healthcare providers, fill up their cars at gas stations, or go for runs, hikes, or walks with their dogs as long as they practice social distancing. Pritzker also said many people will still be able to go to work.

Pritzker said people also can still go out to pick up meals at restaurants. However, he said he's also ordering non-essential businesses to stop operating, and said anyone who can work from home must do so.

The governor's order defines essential businesses as those that sell, process, or produce food, groceries, and medicine; charities or non-profits, including food banks and shelters; educational institutions; healthcare and public health organizations; human services operations; essential government functions and infrastructure; media outlets; gas stations, auto supply and repair shops, and other transportation facilities; banks, currency exchanges, and other financial institutions; hardware and supply stores; trades such as plumbers, electricians, HVAC, and other home and building maintenance services; mail and delivery operations; laundry services; business supply stores; public transportation and airports; home care services; residential facilities and hotels; legal services; manufacturing, distribution, and supply chain industries; and funeral services. However, the state's Pre-K through 12th grade schools remain subject to Pritzker's separate school closings order.

Not allowed are unnecessary trips; meetings and gatherings such as hanging out at the beach with friends and family; or visiting businesses that offer non-essential services such as clothing stores or hair salons. City park facilities and public libraries are closed.

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