Chicago has further capped social gatherings and urged residents to stay home as much as possible in response to a resurgence of coronavirus that has swept across the Midwest and other US regions.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Thursday issued a stay-at-home advisory that will last for 30 days beginning on Monday. The order asks residents to avoid leaving their homes except for work, school, grocery shopping and other trips considered essential.
Meetings and social events will be limited to 10 people. Residential gatherings can have a maximum of six non-household members. The Chicago health department has the authority to issue fines for breaking rules on private gatherings, it said.
The moves come just two weeks before the Thanksgiving holiday and mirror similar measures taken up in other states in an attempt to slow the spread of coronavirus.
“While this is tough — this whole year has been tough — you must cancel the normal Thanksgiving plans,” Ms Lightfoot said. “We are a long way from where we need to be,” she added.
Chicago reported a test positivity rate of 14.1 per cent on Thursday, which is higher than the 10.9 per cent recorded one week ago.
Illinois posted its third straight record for new cases with 12,702, bringing its overall tally to 536,542 since the pandemic began. Hospitals were treating 5,258 patients for Covid-19, up about 200 over the past 24 hours.
The US has grappled with a recent upswing in coronavirus infections, including outbreaks in Midwest states like Illinois. The state’s governor, JB Pritzker, had already ordered indoor dining in Chicago to shut down at the end of October. Wisconsin governor Tony Evers also signed an order this week urging residents to stay home whenever possible. Ohio will look into closing restaurants, bars and gyms next week if current trends in the spread of the virus don’t improve, governor Mike DeWine warned in an address on Wednesday evening.
In New York, governor Andrew Cuomo has imposed a cap of 10 people on indoor gatherings at private residences. That order will take effect on Friday and reverses a previous limit of 50 people.