With around 2,000 new COVID-19 cases a day, Chicago is at a tipping point, said Lightfoot during a press conference. She announced that the stay-at-home advisory will begin on Monday, Nov. 16 and go through at least the next month, which includes the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday.
“While this is tough, of course this whole year has been tough, we must tell you, you must cancel the normal Thanksgiving plans,” Lightfoot said, WGN reported.
The stay-at-home advisory is not an order, but a recommendation to residents to avoid leaving their homes for anything other than going to work or school, or to get essential medical care, groceries or take-out. The city said to avoid non-essential or out-of-state travel, and not to gather with anyone outside of their household, “even with trusted family or friends.”
Chicago will, however, be able to fine residents who host more than six non-household members in private residences. Additionally, public spaces for events such as weddings, birthday parties, funeral and other parties are restricted to no more than 10 people, regardless of if it is indoors or outdoors. Lightfoot had already closed indoor dining at bars and restaurants in late October.
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Lightfoot said that these restrictions are the best course of action to save lives during this spike in cases.
“If changes are not made by Chicago residents, businesses, and visitors to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, the city is on track to lose 1,000 more Chicagoans by the end of the year or even more,” she said.
Every state in the country is currently dealing with soaring numbers of new cases, and the U.S. saw a record 163,402 new infections on Thursday alone, the third-straight day that a new record for daily infections was set. Illinois, in particular, has seen cases go up 126 percent in the last two weeks, soaring to around 12,000 new cases a day. The state had a record-breaking 12,788 new infections on Thursday, according to The New York Times.
The Midwest is struggling with the influx of cases and sick patients. Hospitals across the region are “bursting at the seams” with patients, said one physician in Missouri, and several states, including Wisconsin, have set up field hospitals after running out of room. More than 67,000 Americans are currently hospitalized with COVID-19, the most ever, according to the COVID Tracking Project.
As of Friday, more than 10,637,400 Americans have tested positive for COVID-19, and at least 242,861 people have died from the virus, the Times reported.