Chicago officials announced Thursday that a stay-at-home advisory for the city will go into effect on Monday. It calls on residents to stay home unless it is essential to go out, stop having guests over, avoid unnecessary travel and cancel traditional Thanksgiving plans.
"We're asking you to avoid any non essential travel. And if you must travel, then you must either quarantine for 14 days, or depending upon the state confirm a negative COVID test before coming back," said Mayor Lori Lightfoot, CBS Chicago reports. "You must cancel the normal Thanksgiving plans, particularly if they include guests that do not live in your immediate household."
State public health officials reported 12,702 new confirmed or probable COVID-19 cases in Illinois on Thursday, the third day in a row Illinois has set a new daily case count record. Illinois also reported a new high of more than 5,200 coronavirus hospitalizations.
The state has reported more than 12,000 new coronavirus cases four times in the past six days. The Illinois Department of Public Health also reported 43 new COVID-19 deaths on Thursday.
The mayor said since much of the COVID spread is happening in close gatherings, those activities have to be paused for now.
"Major portion of that spread is happening in our homes and private venues, with the friends and family, who we love and trust. In these spaces, people feel safe ... and you let your guard down. And you're not as diligent."
"We have to stop and reverse this trend in order to save lives," Lightfoot said. "Every family needs to come up with their own COVID protection plan and stick to it. In the coming weeks and months."
Lightfoot added that the current mitigation efforts for eating and drinking establishments are still in place.
"I cannot emphasize that enough bars and restaurants, unfortunately, will remain closed for indoor dining, or curfew or non essential businesses remains in place. From 11pm to 6am. And while these restrictions remain the same. We will be ramping up our enforcement. I want to add this point, loud and clear. Please follow the rules. We want you to be able to stay open. But if you do not follow the rules, and we will take swift and immediate action," Lightfoot said.
She also had pointed words for retailers.
"I spent a lot of time traveling around the city looking from neighborhood to neighborhood. And what I've seen in some retailers is parking lots that are absolutely jammed with cars. And yet, no lines at the entrance. That tells me something. Something's not right about there. And what I've told my team is that, in those circumstances, we are going to be extraordinarily diligence and make sure that everyone is playing by the rules," Lightfoot said.
"The rapid rise that we've been experiencing here in Chicago is being felt across our state across our region, and across the nation."
Since the start of the pandemic, Illinois' health department has reported over 536,500 coronavirus cases, including more than 10,470 deaths. The state is now urging all Illinoisans to stay at home as much as possible for the next three weeks, work from home if they can, avoid gatherings, and limit themselves to essential travel only to reduce the spread of the virus.