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Lightfoot Reinstates Some COVID-19 Restrictions In Chicago For Bars, Gyms

CHICAGO (CBS) --   Responding to an uptick in COVID-19 cases throughout Chicago, Mayor Lori Lightfoot is putting back restrictions starting this Friday July 24 at 12:01 a.m.

The new rules are aimed specifically at bars and gyms. In a news release, Lightfoot called it a "re-tightening" of the rules set in place at the beginning of the pandemic.

"We have made so much progress here in Chicago in containing the spread of the virus, protecting our health system and saving lives, and in general, the virus remains under control locally. But we are again seeing a steady increase in new cases," said Lightfoot. "While we aren't near the peak of the pandemic from earlier this year, none of us wants to go back there, and we feel these restrictions will help limit further community spread."

The decision was made with the Chicago Department of Public Health. According to the city, the following spaces will have restrictions:

*Bars, taverns, breweries and other establishments that serve alcohol for on-site consumption without a Retail Food license will no longer be able to serve customers indoors.

*Restaurants that serve alcohol will be allowed to continue to operate as long as they abide by ongoing COVID-19 guidance and existing regulations.

*Establishments without food may still provide outdoor service as they did under phase three.

*Maximum party size and table occupancy at restaurants, bars, taverns and breweries will be reduced to six people.

*Indoor fitness class size will be reduced to a maximum of 10 people.

*Personal services requiring the removal of face coverings will no longer be permitted (shaves, facials, etc.).

*Residential property managers will be asked to limit guest entry to five per unit to avoid indoor gatherings and parties.

According to the CDPH, the city is back in a "high-incidence state" according to CDC guidelines after going over 200 cases per day on a seven-day rolling average.

As of Sunday, the number was 233.

The uptick is being moved by an increase of cases among people 18-29 years old. Also the city said there's been more "social activity and interactions in bars, restaurants, parks and the lakefront." The increase comes after weeks of decline in the number of COVID-19 cases.

"No one relishes making this move but it's the right thing to do as we work to prevent a resurgence of COVID-19 similar to what we're seeing in many states around the country," said CDPH Commissioner Allison Arwady, M.D. "This virus has had a disproportionate impact on Black and Latinx individuals, many of whom are essential workers who have continued to go to work, and we can't afford to see a resurgence that would mean more cases and more deaths."


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