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Lightfoot: Chicago On Track For Phase 4 On Friday

CHICAGO (CBS)-- Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced Chicago is ready to transition into Phase 4 of reopening on Friday, June 26, along with the rest of Illinois.

The mayor had already announced last week that restaurants and bars would be allowed to reopen indoor seating areas on Friday, with capacity limits. The rest of the Phase 4 reopenings on Friday include museums and zoos, performance venues, and summer camps and other youth activities.

For indoor dining at Chicago restaurants, capacity must be limited to 25% of normal, with a maximum of 50 people per room or floor. Tables must be six feet apart with no more than 10 diners at a single table. Bars and breweries will also be able to open indoors with similar restrictions. Also, seating at drinking establishments that do not sell food will be limited to a maximum of two hours per party. Alcohol sales at bars and restaurants for on-site consumption must still end at 11:00 p.m. each night, while the sale of alcohol for carryout or delivery must cease at 9:00 p.m. each night.

"I'm happy to announce that that includes our museums, zoos, performance venues, movie theaters, summer camps, youth activities, indoor use of restaurants and bars," Lightfoot said. The mayor added spaces that hold large events won't be able to open up just yet.

"Unfortunately, because of where we are in the arc of the virus industries that require a very large gatherings, such as spectator sports and convention will at this time remain closed," the mayor said.

Social gatherings should be limited to 50 people for indoor events and 100 people for outdoor events, according to the mayor's office.

"The service and sacrifice made by Chicagoans from every corner of our city and every walk of life has allowed us to safely reach the point where we are now," Lightfoot said in a statement. "It includes the incredible work done by our healthcare professionals, first responders, and essential workers who have cared for our residents and kept our city running. Everything we've done to meet this moment has been the direct result of the hard work and sacrifice of our residents, which has not only saved the lives of thousands of Chicagoans over these past three months, but also helped lay the groundwork for the transformative recovery that will follow."

Lightfoot said that despite the impending reopening with Phase 4, it shouldn't signal the end of COVID-19 and a reason to be lax with preventative measures.

"Under no circumstances should our move to phase four be confused with this crisis being over. COVID-19 is still very much part of our presence in Chicago, and it will be for the foreseeable future.  And we want to also emphasize that having a resurgence in cases is more than a risk is a very real possibility if we, meaning you," don't do everything possible to follow the guidance and minimize the risk of a resurgence," Lightfoot said.

The mayor said people should be wearing face coverings, participate in social distancing and continued engagement with washing hands vigorously.

"Every single zip code in Chicago, saw new cases of COVID-19. Just last week, every single zip code. And we need to make sure we keep moving in the right direction down and not not unfortunately suffer the fate of many states on the in the south and the Southwest, that are trending up with new cases, new records in cases and deaths being announced every day."

Gov. JB Pritzker's office also released guidelines Monday for the statewide shift to Phase 4 on Friday. Under the governor's plan, in addition to indoor dining, museums and zoos, and performance venues, gyms and fitness centers, as well as movie theaters, would be able to reopen with capacity limits.

For more information on the state's Phase 4 guidelines, click here.

"Over the last four months, Illinoisans have pulled together with the common mission of keeping each other safe. By staying home and practicing social distancing, the rate of new COVID-19 cases continues to drop and each region throughout the state is prepared to move to Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois plan," Pritzker said in a statement.

Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said a reduction of COVID-19 cases is what's moving the city to the next phase.

"Chicago finally is moving out of a high incidence. Meaning a high risk state for COVID, based on our population, these are the national numbers that CDC follows," Arwady said.  "Now we're moving into that moderate high state. Really good progress and one of the main reasons that we feel confident that we'll be ready to move ahead to stage four with the rest of the state at the end of the week."

Officials are warning that even though progress has been made to enter the new phase, all residents should continue to social distance, wear face coverings in public, and stay inside when feeling sick or have come in contact with someone with COVID-19.

Lightfoot encourages anyone feeling sick to get tested for COVID-19.

The 606 and Lakefront trails reopened on Monday, although lakefront parks and beaches remain closed, and users of the trails will be told to "keep it moving" -- meaning the trails will only be open for walking, running, cycling, rollerblading, etc.

Chicago moved into Phase 3 of its reopening plan on June 3, five days after the rest of the state. Under Phase 3, restaurants were allowed to reopen outdoor dining; non-essential manufacturing, offices, and retail businesses were allowed to reopen under approved safety guidance from the state;  barber shops and salons are allowed to reopen with strict social distancing guidelines and other restrictions; and gyms and fitness clubs were allowed to offer outdoor classes and one-on-one training.


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