All Chicago parks and libraries are closed starting Saturday – but you can still walk around the park

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DOWNTOWN — Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced Friday that all parks and libraries in Chicago will be closed starting at 5 p.m. Saturday.

The announcement came as Governor JB Pritzker announced a ‘stay-at-home order’, which requires the closure of all ‘non-essential’ businesses.

People will still be able to go to parks to walk and play outdoors, although they should practice the rule of staying at least 6 feet away from other people. Parks will not be cordoned off, but all facilities — like country homes — will be closed, Lightfoot said.

Chicago public libraries will be completely closed.

RELATED: Here’s what’s open and what’s closed under a stay-at-home order to curb the coronavirus outbreak

“For the most part, I think people will have the ability to go out and recreate,” Pritzker said during his announcement. “What we try to discourage is people recreating and… getting together. We don’t want people to be so close together that they break that 6 foot rule. We want social distancing.

Frightened librarians have been calling for the city’s public libraries to be closed for days, ProPublica Illinois reported.

Library systems in other major cities — including New York, Los Angeles, Houston, Boston and Cleveland — have closed, as have many libraries in suburban Chicago.

Chicago libraries are often frequented by homeless people or out-of-school children, but a South Side librarian told ProPublica earlier this week that keeping them open isn’t fair.

“The mayor is forcing libraries to be the city’s social safety net. … She’s counting on us to do what the city is supposed to do by providing homeless shelters, mental health facilities, being a daycare center,” she said. “If it’s a day of snow, polar vortex, teacher strike, I’m the first to say to keep the doors open at the library. This is an exception. It is a health crisis. »

Park programming was available to out-of-class Chicago public school students through April 20, but that programming will end on Saturday by order of the mayor.

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