March 17, 2020

Mayor Lightfoot Postpones March City Council Meeting Due to Latest Health Guidance on Covid-19

Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

CHICAGO—Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot today announced that the City of Chicago will postpone its previously scheduled March 18 City Council meeting to a later date. The changes come as Governor Pritzker announced new guidelines on Monday limiting gatherings, and executive action from Governor JB Pritzker providing new flexibility in government meetings without in-person attendance. City officials will work with members of the City Council to determine the most efficient manner to proceed on policymaking and to ensure continuity of city services and operations in the coming weeks and months.

“During these unprecedented times we cannot proceed with business as usual when the health and welfare of our residents and communities are at risk,” said Mayor Lightfoot. “After consulting with public health officials and colleagues in the City Council, we made the difficult decision to postpone our March meeting for several weeks while the City develops a procedure for the Council to meet electronically pursuant to the Governor’s executive action. I am fully committed to working with our City Council to develop a plan for proceeding on key legislation and approvals that our communities are counting on while we combat COVID-19. These are trying times, but we are all in this together.”

Mayor Lightfoot will take several emergency executive actions over the next few days to allow for the continuance of government before the next City Council meeting. These actions will increase procurement authority, ensure employees are paid while on extended leave, and allow for the City to appropriate money from the federal government to pay for costs incurred in the response to the spread of COVID-19.

To ensure the City’s compliance with the state mandate on large gatherings, the City will begin to reduce access to City Hall to personnel only for the coming weeks. The City side of the building, 121 N. LaSalle, will be closed to the public on floors that do not provide public services, open only to staff. City officials will provide guidance to employees on how to conduct business and meetings in a way that observes social distancing and other techniques to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Today, many Chicagoans begin to see alterations in their day-to-day activities. In compliance with a statewide mandate and in effect until March 30, all Chicago K-12 schools are closed. Additionally, all Chicago restaurants and taverns are closed for dine-in service until March 30, and restaurants will assume a limited capacity for carry-out and delivery only. This guidance will be reviewed as more information about COVID-19 becomes known and CDC issues new recommendations.

In recent days, several other City government operations have moved into reduced hours or full closure, including: Administrative Hearings and Chicago Public Schools. This comes after nationwide cancelations or postponements of concerts, music festivals, theater shows and sports games and tournaments.

The health and wellness of all Chicagoans remains Mayor Lightfoot’s top concern as the City collectively navigates the uncharted territory of COVID-19. Led by the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH), the City is working hand in hand with health officials and leaders from state government to implement a response plan that prioritizes the health and wellness of all residents, employees and businesses. Given the rapidly evolving nature of this situation, the City is working diligently to provide timely and transparent updates on changes that pertain to Chicagoans.

For more information and updates on COVID-19, tune into CDPH’s “The Doctor Is In” Livestream M-F at 11am, for mobile updates, text COVID19 to 78015or email: coronavirus@chicago.gov.

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