In response to the evolving COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Chicago has joined the State of Illinois in issuing a Stay at Home order effective Saturday, March 21st at 5pm CT. In addition, City of Chicago facilities are closed to the public. Staff are prioritizing essential services to protect the health and safety of our residents and employees. As such, we may be delayed in responding to non-essential inquiries and service requests. To stay up to date on the City of Chicago’s COVID-19 response, please visit the City Coronavirus Response Center site.
CHICAGO – Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot today joined Dr. Allison Arwady, Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health, Interim Chicago Police Department Superintendent Beck and Superintendent Kelly of the Chicago Park District to remind Chicagoans of the critical importance of complying with the State of Illinois’ Stay At Home order regarding the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
With spring temperatures warming up, City officials reminded residents of key guidance to keep them safe and to comply with the order. This guidance includes urging residents continue to practice key social distancing techniques, shown to prevent the spread of the virus; as well as encouraging residents to take precautions outdoors, including ensuring that trips outdoors are brief, individual and avoiding congregate settings and close contacts, which could further transmission.
“I want to remind everyone of how critically important it is for all Chicagoans to adhere to the State mandate during this time, which was implemented to stop the spread of COVID-19 and save lives,” said Mayor Lori Lightfoot. “In the face of this global pandemic we all must play our part in flattening the curve locally, and that means staying at home as much as possible during this time. I want to be clear we are not saying that you cannot go outdoors, but everyone must implement social distancing when doing so and exercise increased caution.”
Since Governor Pritzker’s ‘Stay at Home’ Order went into effect on March 21, residents of Chicago and across the state are mandated to stay at home as much as possible, and to limit occasions for leaving their homes, unless it is to: retrieve essential goods or services, go work if they are an essential employee, seek medical care, or to get fresh air. The order was issued out of an abundance of caution to safeguard the public health and prevent further spread in the community, and is expected to last through April 7, unless otherwise directed.
Chicagoans are still able, and encouraged, to do the following during this time:
“In order to flatten the curve of COVID-19, we need people to stay at home and avoid congregating in crowds during this time,” said Dr. Arwady. “This virus spreads through droplets, meaning coughing and sneezing, which is why it is so important to socially distance yourself from others. We want to make clear it is essential for people to be using these extra precautions, especially when leaving their houses, if we want to be successful in stopping the further spread of COVID-19 in Chicago.”
Additionally, under an order released by CDPH last week, any Chicago resident that has COVID-19 must stay at home during this time unless seeking emergency medical care. This order was issued out of an abundance of caution to safeguard the public health and prevent further spread in the community.
While the Chicago Police Department are empowered to enforce the Governor’s order through citations and additional measures, the Department is primarily focusing on educating residents about the new state order and providing warnings to individuals not abstaining from non-essential activities, and especially those congregating in large gatherings. To further ensure compliance with the State’s mandate, the Department will move forward with issuing citations if individuals don’t adhere to warnings from police officers.
"The number one tool our officers have is education, and we'll be working to ensure our residents have the most up-to-date information and guidelines to prevent COVID-19 and keep them healthy and safe during these difficult times," said Interim Superintendent Beck. “Adhering to this order will save lives and it is the responsibility of every Chicagoan to do their part to help keep each other safe.”
Chicago Park District’s facilities and fieldhouses will remain closed for the duration of the stay at home order. However, while the district’s green spaces and parks remain open during this time, the it is taking the following public safety measures to ensure the safety of residents and communities:
"While Chicago Park District green spaces are open, we should not all rush out at once," said Chicago Park District General Superintendent and CEO Michael Kelly. "Parks are not gathering spaces for normal park activities. They should be used as resources for a brief respite, in accordance with social distancing and other CDC guidelines. We are relying on our residents to police themselves to keep our city safe."
The Chicago Department of Public Health continues encouraging everyone to take the following preventative measures in order to ensure the health and wellness of the general public:
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